Ballast water discharged from vessels harbours a cocktail of potential pathogens.
Commercial ships have spread many species around the world1,2,3, but little is known of the extent and potential significance of ship-mediated transfer of microorganisms3,4. Here we show that the global movement of ballast water by ships creates a long-distance dispersal mechanism for human pathogens and may be important in the worldwide distribution of microorganisms, as well as for the epidemiology of waterborne diseases affecting plants and animals.
Access optionsAccess options
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Carlton, J. T. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Annu. Rev. 23, 313– 374 (1985).
Carlton, J. T. & Geller, J. B. Science 261, 78–82 (1993).
Ruiz, G. M., Fofonoff, P. W., Carlton, J. T., Wonham, M. J. & Hines, A. H. Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. (in the press).
Galil, B. S. & Hülsmann, N. Eur. J. Protistol. 33, 244–253 (1997).
Carlton, J. T., Reid, D. & van Leeuwen, H. The Role of Shipping in the Introduction of Nonindigenous Aquatic Organisms to the Coastal Waters of the United States (other than the Great Lakes) and an Analysis of Control Options (Tech. Rep. No. CG-D11-95, US Coast Guard, Washington DC, 1995).
Grimes, D. J. Estuaries 14, 345–360 ( 1991).
Hallegraeff, G. M. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 168, 297–309 (1998).
McCarthy, S. A. & Khambaty, F. M. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 60, 2597–2601 (1994).
Colwell, R. R. Science 274, 2025–2031 ( 1996).
Colwell, R. R. & Huq, A. in Vibrio cholerae and Cholera: Molecular to Global Perspectives (eds Wachsmuth, I., Blake, P. & Olsvik, Ø.) 117–134 (Am. Soc. Microbiology, Washington DC, 1994).
Williamson, M. Biological Invasions (Chapman & Hall, London, 1996 ).
Brock, T. D., Madigan, M. T., Martinko, J. M. & Parker, J. Biology of Microorganisms 7th edn (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1993).
Harvell, C. D. et al. Science 285, 1505– 1510 (1999).
Daszak, P., Cunningham, A. A. & Hyatt, A. D. Science 287, 443– 449 (2000).
About this article
Persistence of fecal indicator bacteria associated with zooplankton in a tropical estuary—west coast of India
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment (2019)
Metabarcoding and machine learning analysis of environmental DNA in ballast water arriving to hub ports
Environment International (2019)
A stochastic network-based model to simulate the spread of pancreas disease (PD) in the Norwegian salmon industry based on the observed vessel movements and seaway distance between marine farms
Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2019)
Climate change opens new frontiers for marine species in the Arctic: Current trends and future invasion risks
Global Change Biology (2019)
Simulating the spread of disinfection by-products and anthropogenic bromoform emissions from ballast water discharge in Southeast Asia
Ocean Science (2019)