Ecosystem under pressure: ballast water discharge into Galveston Bay, Texas (USA) from 2005 to 2010.
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Ballast water exchange processes facilitate the dispersal and unnatural geographic expansion of phytoplankton, including harmful algal bloom species. From 2005 to 2010, over 45,000 vessels ( 8000 annually) travelled across Galveston Bay (Texas, USA) to the deep-water ports of Houston (10th largest in the world), Texas City and Galveston. These vessels (primarily tankers and bulkers) discharged 1.2 10(8) metrictons of ballast water; equivalent to 3.4% of the total volume of the Bay. Over half of the ballast water discharged had a coastwise origin, 96% being from US waters. Galveston Bay has fewer non-indigenous species but receives a higher volume of ballast water discharge, relative to the highly invaded Chesapeake and San Francisco Bays. Given the magnitude of shipping traffic, the role of Galveston Bay, both as a recipient and donor region of non-indigenous phytoplankton species is discussed here in terms of the invasibility risk to this system by way of ballast water.
author list (cited authors)
Steichen, J. L., Windham, R., Brinkmeyer, R., & Quigg, A.
complete list of authors
Steichen, Jamie L||Windham, Rachel||Brinkmeyer, Robin||Quigg, Antonietta