Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2015, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (3): 283-299.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0028

Special Issue: 红树林专题 入侵生态学专辑

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research overview and trend on biological invasion in mangrove forests

CHEN Quan, MA Ke-Ming*()   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Urban & Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
  • Received:2014-11-27 Accepted:2015-01-28 Online:2015-03-01 Published:2015-03-17
  • Contact: Ke-Ming MA
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors


To examine our current understanding on biological invasions in mangrove forests, relevant information from literature was reviewed and several key points were summarized based on the database of ISI Web of Science and the information analysis software HistCite. First, most of the studies have focused on the invasion of plant species in mangrove forests, and little attention are paid to other organisms. Secondly, there is an obvious bias on the locations of study sites, with most being situated in the southern and southeastern coasts of China (especially in the Pearl River Estuary and west of the Leizhou Peninsula) and the southeastern coast and Hawaiian Islands of the United States. Thirdly, that whether Sonneratia apetala can result in invasion is still a hot but controversial topic. Introduction of this species should be cautious. Forth, Spartina alterniflora and Mikania micrantha are the most notorious invaders around the world; both possess fast growth rate, high reproductive and competitive capacity, and strong allelopathic effects. They have invaded mangrove forests and caused severe ecological consequences, and apparently deteriorated the microhabitat and changed the benthic organisms’ community. Fifth, Rhizophora mangle has invaded Hawaiian Islands as an exotic mangrove species, modified the sedimentary environment, and enriched the benthic organisms, but the impacts are yet to be considered at the global scale. In general, studies on biological invasions in mangrove forests are still at the infant stage and we know little about the underlying mechanisms of the invasions. Specific strategies are lacking for controlling the invasion. The state of invasion and corresponding impacts should be continually focused in future studies. Exploration of the mechanisms and controlling strategies of invasion in mangroves should be launched as soon as possible. The assessment of the effects of biological invasion on ecological services of mangroves should also be emphasized. Finally, a sound management system for the control of biological invasions in mangrove forests is urgently needed.

Key words: biological invasion, control methods, invasive impacts, mangrove forest, research perspective