Author(s): James T Carlton
The scale of invasions by crustaceans in marine and estuarine waters globally has been vastly underestimated. This underestimation derives from two primary sources: First, most of the species distributed in the first 400–500 years of global shipping have escaped recognition, potentially strongly skewing our perceptions of the evolution and history of many nearshore communities. Second, invasions are rarely reported amongst smaller-bodied and taxonomically more challenging taxa. The combination of the two suggests that many fundamental but overlooked shifts have occurred in marine ecosystems in only the past few centuries. While a still all-too-common statement in the literature is that most invasions are benign and have no impact, no experimental or quantitative data are available that support that conclusion.