Things we do in CIMA 12: Species identification

Species identification

From CIMA (Centro de Investigaciones Medioambientales del Atlántico, S.L.) (Atlantic Environmental Research Center), we want to show you what we do in and out our offices.


On this page you can find a series of small videos called "Things we do in CIMA", which will help us to explain what we do and how we do it. All this to approach the world of marine biology and oceanography.



- "Things we do in CIMA" #12: Species identification:

One of the most important activities we carry out is the identification of species.

In previous videos you have already seen how we collect samples from different study areas and we make a first sorting to separate them into groups.

It´s necessary to identify the species we have found in the samples since they give us clues about the environmental quality of the studied waters.

In this case we are identifying them to know if there are exotic species. It's interesting to have these species identified and followed up because, if their population increase is a problem for other species, they would be called invasive and should be controlled.

An exotic species, also known as introduced or allochthonous species, is that outside species that has been introduced into an area out its natural distribution. This introduction is usually produced by human causes, either voluntarily or involuntarily. The opposite concept is autochthonous species.

It is necessary not to confuse the previous concept with invasive species. A species is invasive when, being exotic or autochthonous, its population increase supposes an environmental problem, because it puts in danger the rest of species in that determined zone. Although the vast majority of invasive species are exotic, there are also some cases in which they can be native.

Exotic species presence, by itself, does not have to be a problem. Invasive species represent a problem all over the world, especially in islands and archipelagos, due to the impact they cause:

- They alter and degrade the habitat.

- They cause the loss of biodiversity.

- They can be a problem for health.

- They can impact negatively on the economy, because of the negative effect on natural resources or on tourism.

You have much more information in this blog (Spanish).


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