In September 2004, a rapid assessment survey for non-native species was conducted at 12 harbours along the south coast of England from East Sussex to Cornwall, focusing on communities of algae and invertebrates colonizing floating pontoons in marinas. Over 80 taxa each of algae and invertebrates were recorded, including 20 recognized non-native species. The southern hemisphere solitary ascidian Corella eumyota was recorded in the UK for the first time and was present at three sites. The colonial ascidian Botrylloides violaceus was also recorded as new to the UK, but was very widespread and has probably been present for a number of years but misidentified as the native congener B. leachi, which was infrequent. Other ascidians included Styela clava, introduced at Plymouth in the early 1950s, which was recorded at all locations visited, and Perophora japonica, which was found only at the Plymouth locality where it first occurred in the UK in 1999. The diverse algal flora included nine alien species previously recorded in the British Isles. Range extensions and population increases were noted for the kelp Undaria pinnatifida and the bryozoan Tricellaria inopinata, both first recorded in UK waters during the 1990s. The widespread occurrence of another non-native bryozoan, Bugula neritina, appears significant, since in earlier times this was known in UK waters predominantly from artificially heated docks. The results of this survey indicate that dock pontoon systems in southern England are significant reservoirs of non-native species dispersed by vessels and other means. The proliferation of these structures is therefore of conservation importance. The new UK records highlight the need for periodic monitoring of ports for non-native species.
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