Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hurricanes spread lionfish far and wide

Hurricanes moving through the Gulf of Mexico influenced the spread of lionfish.  Whereas the normal flow of the Florida Current would have contained the population of lionfish to the Straits of  Florida, hurricanes disrupted the current and pushed lionfish into the Bahamas.  Between 1992 and 2006, researchers identified 23 instances where hurricanes provided lionfish the opportunity to breach the current. Introduction into the Bahamas, and no longer confined by the Florida Current, spread of lionfish increased by 45% and their population by 15%.

lionfish (Pterois volitans) by Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia,

For more on the study: Hurricanes help spread invasive marine species, researchers find
And: Hurricanes helped accelerate spread of lionfish