Contracts and agreements
Project duration: 
Jan 2011 to Dec 2011

Risk assessment of biological invasions in aquatic ecosistems: methodological review and management proposals.


Biological invasions are considered to be one of the most serious threats to global biodiversity and ecosystem integrity. The introduction of non-native species not only generates ecological impacts, but also has economic and human welfare consequences.
Once introduced plant species are established in a new region, they are extremely difficult to eradicate or control. Thus, preventing new non-native invasions is, by far, the most environmentally desirable and cost-effective management method in order to prevent its establishment and subsequent dispersion. Many studies have attempted to profile successful invaders and to study the characteristics that make some habitats more vulnerable of being invaded. Most of these studies show that it is very difficult to know the exact profile of a potentially invasive species, because it depends heavily on its affinity to invade certain types of habitats and the way it has been introduced. However, the accumulated scientific knowledge on invader traits together with the characteristics of invaded habitats, has been the basis to develop risk assessment schemes that, currently, constitute one of the most important tools for prediction and prevention of invaseive species. These schemes attempt to identify the fraction of introduced species with a high likelihood of becoming invasive, and prevent their spread and their damaging effects.
In Catalonia, the information gathered about the invasiveness of non-native species and the habitats invasibility has not been translated yet, in recommendations to improve prevention strategies and management of plant invasions. However, the use of this type of risk analysis as a management tool could help the authorities and environmental managers to justify the prohibition of certain non-native species, and also could strengthen the social support for effective prevention and management policies for invasive species.
The growing concern about biological invasions is an excellent opportunity for the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications (CREAF) to propose the action “Risk analysis of biological invasions in aquatic ecosystems: methodological review and management challenges. " This session invites scientific experts on the ecology and management of different taxonomic groups of aquatic non-native species to dialogue with public authorities (responsible for environmental management) and different economic sectors affected by the problem of biological invasions about the possible implementation of risk analysis protocols in order to effectively prevent biological invasions.


  • cranc americà