Brine shrimp (Artemia species) are a major faunal element in many hypersaline biotopes throughout the world and are used extensively in aquaculture, the aquarium trade, solar salt fields and in toxicity bioassays. Commercially available brine shrimp are generally Artemia franciscana cysts, primarily harvested from Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA. The invasive potential of this species raises concerns about its presence in Australia. We reviewed recent overseas reports of the occurrence of A. franciscana populations and confirm that the use of this species has extended its natural geographic range through both deliberate and inadvertent releases. In Australia, Artemia species have been previously identified as being a threat to ecosystem health and biodiversity; however, the specific recognition of A. franciscana was not made. In reviewing the biogeography of Artemia species in Australia, we provide a collation of the reported populations of A. franciscana. The biological attributes of this species contributing to its invasive success are also compiled. The implications of further releases and increases in the range of this species to Australian inland waters are discussed. We appeal for increased vigilance regarding the importation and use of this potentially highly invasive species and monitoring for its presence.
|Author||David R. Ruebhart, Ian E. Cock and Glen R. Shaw|
|Secondary title||Marine & Freshwater Research|