Biological Invasions

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 1517–1532 | Cite as

Success factors and future prospects of Ponto–Caspian peracarid (Crustacea: Malacostraca) invasions: Is ‘the worst over’?

  • Péter Borza
  • Thomas Huber
  • Patrick Leitner
  • Nadine Remund
  • Wolfram Graf
Original Paper


Ponto–Caspian peracarids (amphipods, isopods, mysids and cumaceans) represent one of the most successful groups of aquatic invaders comprising several high-impact species, such as Chelicorophium curvispinum, Dikerogammarus villosus, or Hemimysis anomala. In the present study we made the first attempt to compare biological traits and the environmental preferences of invasive and non-invasive members of the group based on both literature and field data (Joint Danube Survey 3, 2013) with the goal of identifying factors linked to invasion success and drawing conclusions on future invasion risks. Both datasets indicated substrate preference as an important factor in spontaneous range expansion; all invasive species are lithophilous, whereas the majority of non-invasives are psammo-pelophilous. The remaining seven presently non-invasive lithophilous species deserve special attention when considering potential future invaders; however, due to their rarity and possible negative interactions with earlier colonists we consider the probability of their expansion in the foreseeable future as low. Their potential expansion could most likely be of minor consequence anyway, since no considerable functional novelty can be attributed to them in addition to species already present. In this limited context (regarding habitats dominated by hard substrates and not considering the potential further spread of already invasive species) it might be justified to conclude that ‘the worst is over’. Nevertheless, impending navigation development projects both in the Danube–Main–Rhine and Dnieper–Pripyat–Bug–Vistula systems might favour the future spread of non-lithophilous species, which might imply a new invasion wave of Ponto–Caspian peracarids.


Amphipoda Colonization rate Cumacea Isopoda Mysida Substrate preference 



Joint Danube Survey 3 was organized by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR). We would like to thank everyone involved in the organization, field work, and evaluation of the survey for their effort. This work was supported by the MARS project (Managing Aquatic ecosystems and water Resources under multiple Stress) funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme, grant Agreement No: 603378. Péter Borza was supported by the Scholarship of the Scholarship Foundation of the Republic of Austria for Post-docs from October 2013 until March 2014 (funding organization: OeAD-GmbH on behalf of and financed by the Scholarship Foundation of the Republic of Austria). We thank Karl J. Wittmann for data on D. pengoi distribution, Michał Grabowski for remarks on amphipod taxonomy, and Ferenc Jordán, Dénes Schmera and two anonymous referees for useful comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Danube Research InstituteMTA Centre for Ecological ResearchBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Working Group on Benthic Ecology and Ecological Status Assessment, Department of Water, Atmosphere and Environment, Institute for Hydrobiology and Water ManagementBOKU - University of Natural Resources and Applied Life SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.Info Fauna – CSCFNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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