Identifying invasive fish species threats to ramsar wetland sites in the Caspian Sea region-a case study of the anzali wetland complex (Iran).
Risk screening tools play a crucial role in identifying potential high-risk non-native (NN) fish species. In this study, potentially invasive NN fish species in the Anzali Wetland Complex (AWC), which is located on the south coast of the Caspian Sea (Iran), were identified using the Aquatic Species Invasiveness Screening Kit (AS-ISK). Twenty-nine freshwater fish species were screened of which 13 exist in the AWC and 16 in close proximity to it ("horizon" species). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that AS-ISK could discriminate reliably between non-invasive and invasive fish species for the AWC. Mean threshold scores were 3.25 for the Basic Risk Assessment (BRA) and 11.75 for the BRA + CCA (BRA + Climate Change Assessment), and these, respectively, classified 89.7% and 86.2% of the species as high risk. The CCA resulted in an increase in the BRA scores for 86.2% of the species, suggesting the need to account in future NN species management for a likely increased invasiveness of those species under future climate conditions. These results suggest that AS-ISK could prove an effective tool for identifying potentially invasive NN freshwater fishes in other wetlands of the Caspian Sea basin.