We reviewed over 407 global seaweed introduction events and have increased the total number of introduced seaweed species to 277. Using binomial tests we show that several algal families contain more successful invaders than would be expected by chance, highlighting groups that should be targeted for management. Hull-fouling and aquaculture are the most significant sources of seaweed invaders and should be carefully regulated. The ecological effects of introduced seaweeds have been studied in only 6% of the species, but these studies show mostly negative effects or changes to the native biota. Herbivores generally prefer native to introduced seaweeds, and are unlikely to control spread, as they can do in other habitats. Undisturbed marine communities can be at least initially resistant to most introduced seaweeds aside from the siphonous green species; however, disturbances and eutrophication can facilitate invasion. Major research gaps include community-level ecological studies and economic assessments.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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