The University of Malaga is leading a study to advance in the prevention and control of the expansion of this species, which is currently in the expansion phase in Spain. A project coordinated by the professor of the Department of Botany and Plant Physiology of the UMA María Altamirano, who has been selected in the call for granting aid for the conservation of marine biodiversity in Spain 2020 of the Biodiversity Foundation (FBD), dependent on the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge.

“Since its introduction in the Strait of Gibraltar, in Spain, the Asian algae shows a high capacity for dispersal and colonization of new areas,” explains the UMA researcher, who clarifies that this expansion poses a threat to biodiversity and resources marine of the Spanish coast.

Precisely through this project, which will have a budget of more than 190,000 euros for its development over the next two years – of which the UMA finances 50 percent and the FBD the other remaining percentage – the space-time windows will be identified. vulnerability to the invasion of R. okamurae of Spanish protected marine species and spaces, based on approaches to the modeling of their distribution and field studies, with special interest in those present in the Strait-Alboran and Levantino-Balearic demarcation.

Likewise, within the framework of this study, an update of the situation of R. okamurae in protected areas will be carried out and all the knowledge generated will be transferred to the management sector of these spaces, as well as to the public administration, in order that It can be applied in the prevention and early detection of the species for the conservation of the natural heritage.

Along with María Altamirano, other researchers from the University of Malaga participating in this study are Raquel Carmona (Ecology and Geology), A. Román Muñoz (Animal Biology) and Raimundo Real (Animal Biology). The Professor of Botany at the University of Granada Julio de La Rosa is also part of the scientific team.

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