Biological Invasions

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1739–1765

Assessment of bioinvasion impacts on a regional scale: a comparative approach

  • Anastasija Zaiko
  • Maiju Lehtiniemi
  • Aleksas Narščius
  • Sergej Olenin
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10530-010-9928-z

Cite this article as:
Zaiko, A., Lehtiniemi, M., Narščius, A. et al. Biol Invasions (2011) 13: 1739. doi:10.1007/s10530-010-9928-z

Abstract

This paper presents an overall bioinvasion impact assessment on the scale of a large marine region—the Baltic Sea, as defined by the Helsinki Commission. The methodology is based on a classification of the abundance and distribution range of alien species and the magnitude of their impacts on native communities, habitats and ecosystem functioning aggregated in a “Biopollution Level” index (BPL) which ranges from ‘no impact’ (BPL = 0) to ‘massive impact’ (BPL = 4). The assessment performed for nine Baltic sub-regions revealed that documented ecological impact is only known for 43 alien species out of 119 registered in the Sea. The highest biopollution (BPL = 3, strong impact) occurs in coastal lagoons, inlets and gulfs, and the moderate biopollution (BPL = 2)—in the open sea areas. The methodology was also used to classify species into alien (BPL = 0) versus ‘impacting’ species (BPL > 0), which can be divided into ‘potentially invasive’ (BPL = 1) and ‘invasive’ (BPL > 1) ones. No clear correlation between the number of established alien and impacting species was found in the sub-regions of the Baltic Sea. The methodology, although requiring a substantial research effort, proved to be useful for interregional comparisons and evaluating the bioinvasion effects of individual alien species.

Keywords

Invasive speciesBiopollutionBaltic SeaKattegatBioinvasion impactCommunityHabitatEcosystem functioning

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastasija Zaiko
    • 1
  • Maiju Lehtiniemi
    • 3
  • Aleksas Narščius
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sergej Olenin
    • 1
  1. 1.Coastal Research and Planning InstituteKlaipeda UniversityKlaipedaLithuania
  2. 2.Department of InformaticsKlaipeda UniversityKlaipedaLithuania
  3. 3.Finnish Environment InstituteMarine Research CentreHelsinkiFinland