Title: Addressing the Ecological Issue of the Invasive Species Special Focus on the Ctenophore Mnemiopsis Leidy (Agassiz, 1865) in the Black Sea
Publisher: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities
Publication Year: 2006
JRC N°: JRC34207
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 22310 EN
OP XX-XX-00000-XX-X
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC34207
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The report aims to address the ecological issue of the invasive species. The human-mediated invasions, often referred to ‘biological pollution’ are a worldwide problem that is increasing in frequency and magnitude, causing significant damage to the environment, economy and human health. Bioinvasions have strong impact on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning and stability. They are ranked as the second most important threat to biodiversity (after habitat destructions) by the World Conservation Union. “Trends in invasive alien species” is recognized as indicator of marine biodiversity and ecosystem health assessment, proposed and included in the EU set of headline biodiversity indicators (SEBI-Streamlining European 2010 Biodiversity Indicators) and EEA core set of indicators. ‘Numbers and cost of alien invasions’ is one of the indicators for assessing progress towards the 2010 target (UNEP/CBD/SBSTTA/10/INF/17, 2005). More, ‘Inventory of the occurrence, abundance and distribution of non-indigenous species presented in the region/sub-region’ is proposed as biological element in the initiative of the EC, the Marine Strategy Directive (SEC, 2005). Some policy gaps remain in the area of prevention and control of invasive alien species. For this purpose, a key objective is to develop specific actions, including an early warning system. A case study presented is an assessment of distributional mode, long-term dynamics and trends of the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi (Agassiz, 1865) in the Black Sea. This species has led to tremendous ecosystem changes and substantial economic losses in the late 1980s-1990s and it has been recognized as a problem of main ecological concern for the sustainable development of the region, together with the high level of anthropogenic forcing on the Black Sea ecosystem. Data from three Black Sea regions are combined, summarized and recent information on M. leidyi population distribution and occurrence, mesozooplankton pattern and the differences in between the regions is provided. This report gives practical information to struggle with analogous invasions in other European Seas, using the example of the Black Sea. It could contribute to the debate on the development of EU headline biodiversity operational indicators in achieving the EU target of halting the loss of biodiversity by 2010.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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