Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Risk screening of non-native macroinvertebrates in the major rivers and associated basins of Belarus using the Aquatic Species Invasiveness Screening Kit.

Abstract

In invasive species ecology, risk identification is an essential first step of the overall risk analysis process. In this study, 24 non-native freshwater macroinvertebrate species were screened for their level of risk of invasiveness in the Dnieper, Pripyat and Neman rivers and associated basins of Belarus. Using the recently-developed Aquatic Species Invasiveness Screening Kit (AS-ISK), the threshold values of 12.25 for the Basic Risk Assessment (BRA) and 19.5 for the BRA + CCA (Climate Change Assessment) allowed identifying those species likely to be of high risk of invasiveness in the risk assessment area. For both the BRA and BRA+CCA, the highest-scoring species were zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha, spinycheek crayfish Orconectes limosus, quagga mussel Dreissena bugensis and Caspian mud shrimp Chelicorophium curvispinum, and for the BRA only signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus. For all species but one (namely, fragile ancylid Ferrissia fragilis classified as low risk), the CCA resulted in an increase in score relative to the BRA, indicating that predicted future global warming conditions are likely to exacerbate the detrimental impacts of these non-native macroinvertebrates of Ponto-Caspian origin. The present application of AS-ISK confirms the predictive value of the tool, and benefits from incorporation of future climate change scenarios. This is a crucial step in the provision of guidelines for the successful management of non-native invasive species and for conservation of native faunas in the (invaded) habitats of Belarus.