Non-native species (also referred to as introduced species) are species which have been introduced to a new environment by human activity. Tinytag Aquatic 2 data loggers are used to monitor seawater temperatures to assess how temperatures affect non-native populations at Orkney, an archipelago off the coast of Scotland.
The introduction of non-native species to new
environments has occurred across human history. However, it has
become more of a pressing problem in modern times. As the movement
of humans has increased through international transport and trade
becoming commonplace, so has the unintentional distribution
of non-native species. This, coupled with the effects of
climate change on seawater temperatures,
encourages non-native species to become 'invasive'
and cause damage to local ecosystems.
At Orkney, an archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland, a
continuous non-native species monitoring programme
is in place and forms a crucial part of marine conservation
Orkney's waters are often used for marine transport, and the
impact of ballast water discharges on the spread
of non-native organisms in local environments is of international
concern. Monitoring for the presence of non-native species helps
Orkney Islands Council Harbour Authority adhere to
their Ballast Water Management Policy and protect
the local ecosystem.
Monitoring and recording seawater temperatures
plays an important role in the monitoring programme at Orkney, and
when trustworthy data and reliable measuring devices are paramount
to scientific integrity, the Harbour Authority needed a temperature
monitoring solution they could count on.
Tinytag Aquatic 2 TG-4100 underwater temperature data
loggers were chosen by the Harbour Authority as their
solution after they were recommended by colleagues. The
data loggers are specifically designed for underwater
applications and are fully submersible to
depths of up to 500 metres, making them ideal for marine
The Harbour Authority's six Tinytag
Aquatic 2 data loggers are deployed in Scapa Flow and at three
marinas at Kirkwall, Stromness and Westray. The loggers'
long battery-life and large reading
capacity has significantly benefited the programme, as the
data loggers in Scapa Flow and at Kirkwall and Stromness marinas
are left in-situ year-round until they are collected and data is
offloaded. All of the data loggers are set to record temperature
values every 30 minutes so that the Harbour Authority can gain a
full picture of seawater temperatures, their patterns and
Dr Jenni Kakkonen, who leads the Harbour
Authority's Marine Environmental Unit, is pleased
with the performance of the loggers. "The loggers have
been ideal for what we need in terms of monitoring sea surface
water temperatures," says Jenni.
Jenni has been particularly impressed by the durability and
reliability of the data loggers; the loggers used at Kirkwall and
Stromness marinas have been deployed since 2015 and have continued
to perform reliably over five years. "We know we can
rely on the data collection and the results when we come to
retrieve the loggers and offload the data either at the marinas or
on board the vessel," comments Jenni.
The data collected by the data loggers is used each year in the
Orkney Islands Council Harbour Authority annual report on the
non-native species monitoring programme. Alongside the other
findings from the monitoring programme, the data indicates whether
the temperatures are contributing to the settlement and production
of non-native species and invasive non-native species.
Temperature data was also included in a 2019 research article
'The value of regular monitoring and diverse sampling techniques to
assess aquatic non-native species: a case study from Orkney.'
The investigation demonstrated the continued presence of non-native
species in Orkney waters over several years and identified the most
significant invasive organisms. It is hoped that the report will
continue to encourage regular non-native species monitoring
in other waters. You can read the full article
With the outlook on climate change becoming more alarming,
continued non-native species monitoring and seawater temperature
tracking is vital for continued wildlife conservation. Reliable
temperature monitoring with Tinytag
Aquatic 2 data loggers can help marine investigation programmes
by delivering accurate, trustworthy data which can
be directly transferred to reports using Tinytag Explorer Software.