Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Dirty dozen' invasive species threaten UK

Date:
May 1, 2013
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
Parts of the UK are at greater risk of invasion by non-native aquatic species than previously thought, according to new research. The first to include human factors in models used to predict where invasive species will arrive and spread, the study shows the Thames, Anglian and Humber river basins are most vulnerable.

The researchers, Dr Bellinda Gallardo and Dr David Aldridge from the University of Cambridge, focussed on the 'dirty dozen' -- a group of high-risk invasive aquatic plants and animals. Some, like the killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus) and the bloody red mysid (Hemimysis anomala) are already in UK but have yet to spread. Others, such as the Asian clam (Corbicula fluminalis) and the marmokrebs, a crayfish (Procambarus fallax) may not yet have arrived.

Related Articles


Working with Species Distribution Models, which are routinely used to predict which regions most suit invasive species, the Cambridge pair made the models more accurate by including human factors such as population density, land-use and proximity to ports. Traditionally, the models are based on environmental conditions such as temperature and rainfall.

According to Dr Gallardo: "Invasive species need to be in the right place at the right time; they need the right environmental conditions, but they also need a helping hand from humans. This can happen intentionally, for example through introduction of commercial fish, or accidentally via hulls of boats, fishing equipment, or ballast water."

The role of humans, plus invasive species' great adaptability, make predicting their spread challenging. By including both human and environmental factors in the models, the researchers found the risk of invasion in the UK was increased by 20% in coastal, densely populated areas and places near transport routes, with the Thames, Anglian and Humber river basins at highest risk.

"These river basins already host many aquatic invaders. This is particularly worrying because invasive species often modify their habitat, making it more favourable to other invaders. This can eventually lead to a process known as invasional meltdown," she says.

Tackling the problem is costly. Invasive species are the second biggest threat to biodiversity after habitat loss. Around 12,000 invasive species have already arrived in Europe, where their combined impact on native biodiversity, agriculture, health and the economy costs at least €12 billion a year.

By producing more accurate maps, the study should allow environmental managers and policy makers to target resources at the most invasive species and the areas most under threat. "Effective management of invasive species depends on rapid detection and control. Our maps are fundamental to direct biomonitoring efforts towards areas most suitable for the 'dirty dozen', so they can be detected as soon as possible," Dr Gallardo explains.

"At present, environmental managers and policy makers have few tools to make informed decisions about the risk posed by existing and future invaders. Our study gives them basic information to prioritise management and control decisions regarding 12 of the most worrisome freshwater invasive species."

The study is also timely because of climate change, which might further favour invasive species, she adds: "Invasive species might better adapt to climate change than natives because of their wide environmental tolerance and highly competitive biological traits. And because they usually reproduce rapidly, invasive species may be better than native species at resisting and recovering from extreme events."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bellinda Gallardo and David C. Aldridge. The 'dirty dozen': socio-economic factors amplify the invasion potential of twelve high risk aquatic invasive species in Great Britain and Ireland. Journal of Applied Ecology, 2013 DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12079

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "'Dirty dozen' invasive species threaten UK." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501091845.htm>.
Wiley. (2013, May 1). 'Dirty dozen' invasive species threaten UK. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501091845.htm
Wiley. "'Dirty dozen' invasive species threaten UK." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130501091845.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins