Who's next? Non-indigenous Cnidarian and Ctenophoran species approaching to the Italian waters.
The aims of the present paper were to review the knowledge about the Mediterranean non-indigenous species of the taxa Cnidaria and Ctenophora (CC NIS), to screen the risk of 98 species for their potential invasiveness in the Mediterranean Sea and their approach to the Italian waters. Of these, 38% are well established in the basin, 4% are known for their invasiveness, 44% are casual, 11% have a taxonomic status unresolved, and 3% are included in the category "cryptogenic". The biodiversity CC NIS of the Mediterranean Sea has changed considerably in the last two decades and 27 out of 98 Mediterranean CC NIS are present in the Italian waters. Fifteen CC NIS, some equipped with high invasive potential, should be regarded as good candidates to become future immigrants of the Italian waters. Anticipatory NIS forecast based on biogeographical and ecological analyses may provide a useful tool for targeted management of the CC NIS issue and for the assessment of the second descriptor of Good Environmental Status. On the other hand, conservation and management of marine ecosystem should be based on the conservation of the essential environmental conditions for the functioning of these ecosystems instead of the contamination or eradication of alien species.