Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Non-indigenous fish in the northern branch of the central European invasion corridor.

Abstract

The assessment of risks associated with non-indigenous species implies a detailed knowledge of their taxonomical composition and distribution within a certain region. The northern branch of the central European 'invasion corridor' - a series of canals connecting different watersheds - has formed an important migratory route for Ponto-Caspian fish (i.e. fish from the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Caspian Sea). However, the current status of non-indigenous fish species in this region is very scarce. This article presents a comprehensive overview of recent distribution data of non-indigenous fish species in the northern branch of the central European invasion corridor. Here, extensive data are integrated based on studies performed during 2003-2014 comprising reliable published and unpublished records from the last 12 years. Altogether, ten non-indigenous fish species were currently found in the northern branch of the central European invasion corridor, constituting 19% of its freshwater fish diversity. Three species, including the Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio), the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus), and the Chinese sleeper (Perccottus glenii), are considered invasive species. Eight species may potentially invade this region in the near future. A comparison of the history of non-indigenous fish species introduction in the inland waters of the northern branch and other countries of the central European invasion corridor revealed similar introduction trends. Potential expansion of non-indigenous fish species across the central European invasion corridor has international implications that require awareness, cooperation, and government support from each individual country. Disclosure of recently operating vectors for non-indigenous fish introductions within the central European invasion corridor will help predict and prevent their further spread and establishment in this region.