Waller quoted in BDN article on sea squirts

The Bangor Daily News quoted Rhian Waller, an associate professor at the University of Maine Darling Marine Center, in an article about sea squirts. Sea squirts, or tunicates, are small, tube-like creatures that attach to rocks or other structures and often live in bunched colonies, according to the article. They are growing in number in Maine’s shallow coastal waters, but could be pushing native organisms out of their habitat. Some species are considered invasive, even though they may have been in Maine for 100 years or more, the article states. Waller told the BDN that warming water in the Gulf of Maine has contributed to the population growth of sea squirts, which grow and reproduce quickly. “They are becoming more dominant in many ecosystems on the midcoast for sure — especially on lines, docks, pipes and buoys left in the water for any period of time,” said Waller. “They basically spread in an ecosystem. The larvae settle fast and grow fast, so [they] exclude other organisms, using up all the space for other organisms to settle.” WGME (Channel 13 in Portland) carried the BDN article.