Data from: Temporal modelling of ballast water discharge and ship-mediated invasion risk to Australia
Cope, Robert C. et al. (2015), Data from: Temporal modelling of ballast water discharge and ship-mediated invasion risk to Australia, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.9k2k7
Biological invasions have the potential to cause extensive ecological and economic damage. Maritime trade facilitates biological invasions by transferring species in ballast water, and on ships' hulls. With volumes of maritime trade increasing globally, efforts to prevent these biological invasions are of significant importance. Both the International Maritime Organization and the Australian government have developed policy seeking to reduce the risk of these invasions. In this study, we constructed models for the transfer of ballast water into Australian waters, based on historic ballast survey data. We used these models to hindcast ballast water discharge over all vessels that arrived in Australian waters between 1999 and 2012. We used models for propagule survival to compare the risk of ballast-mediated propagule transport between ecoregions. We found that total annual ballast discharge volume into Australia more than doubled over the study period, with the vast majority of ballast water discharge and propagule pressure associated with bulk carrier traffic. As such, the ecoregions suffering the greatest risk are those associated with the export of mining commodities. As global marine trade continues to increase, effective monitoring and biosecurity policy will remain necessary to combat the risk of future marine invasion events.