Lag times in Lessepsian fish invasion

E. Azzurro, F. Maynou, J. Belmaker, D. Golani, J. A. Crooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Insight from theory has shown the usefulness of considering time lags in both plant and animal invasions, but this topic has yet to be fully explored with real examples. Here we define and investigate several types of lags using Red Sea fish invasions of the Mediterranean as a case study. By exploring both conceptual and analytical aspects of time lags, we suggest that this concept can be applied to both the ecology and management of invasions. Through the review of available literature and by compiling a comprehensive geo-referenced database, we show that our understanding of the temporal nature of invasion can be confounded by our varying capability to perceive it. This deep, sometimes inextricable, connection between the temporal nature of a process and its observation represents a critical issue for our understanding of the Lessepsian phenomenon, and is a challenge for invasion biology more generally. While our case study is associated with a very specific date in which the Suez Canal opened, our framework is expected to broaden the notion of time lags in bioinvasions research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2761-2772
Number of pages12
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Detection
  • Fish
  • Mediterranean
  • Monitoring
  • Red Sea
  • Time lags

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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