Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 17–30 | Cite as

Trans-national horizon scanning for invasive non-native species: a case study in western Europe

  • Belinda Gallardo
  • Alexandra Zieritz
  • Tim Adriaens
  • Céline Bellard
  • Pieter Boets
  • J. Robert Britton
  • Jonathan R. Newman
  • Johan L. C. H. van Valkenburg
  • David C. Aldridge
Original Paper


Horizon scanning for high-risk invasive non-native species (INNS) is crucial in preparing and implementing measures to prevent introductions, as well as to focus efforts in the control of species already present. We initiated a trans-national horizon-scanning exercise focused on four countries in western Europe: Great Britain, France, Belgium and The Netherlands, which share similar environmental and socio-economic characteristics. We followed a structured four-step approach combining existing knowledge about INNS, with a collaborative identification of priorities for research and management: (1) systematic review of potential INNS of concern, (2) discrimination of INNS into an Alert and Black List depending on their absence or presence in the study area respectively, (3) risk analysis of the Alert List, and (4) expert ranking of species in the Black List. Amongst species not yet present in the four countries (i.e. Alert List), assessors reliably pointed to the Emerald ash-borer (Agrilus planipennis) and Sosnowski’s hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi) as those INNS with the highest risk of invasion and impact. The Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and killer shrimp (Dikerogammarus villosus) were consistently highlighted as some of the most problematic INNS already present in the study area (i.e. Black List). The advantages of our combined approach include that it is inclusive of all-taxa, prioritizes both established and emerging biological threats across trans-national scales, and considers not only the ecological impact, but also potential direct economic consequences as well as the manageability of invasive species.


Collaborative risk assessment Ecological impact Invasive potential Economic impact Management Invasive species Alert List Black List Prioritization 



Research leading to this study has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the EU co-funded Interreg 2Seas project RINSE (Reducing the Impact of Non-Native Species in Europe;, which seeks to improve awareness of the threats posed by INNS, and the methods to address them. BG received financial support from RINSE and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, through the Severo Ochoa Program for Centres of Excellence in R+D+I (SEV-2012-0262). PB was supported by a post-doctoral fellowship from the Research Foundation-Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen, Belgium). All co-authors participated in the prioritization of the Alert and Black Lists, and we are deeply grateful to those colleagues that helped in this process (in alphabetical order): Karolina Bacela, Simon Baker, Joerg Brandner, Céline Fontaine, Dirk-Jan van der Gaag, Eduard Harris, Ben Hoffman, Rieks van Klinken, Fred Kraus, Caroline Laburn, Ans Mouton, François Moutou, Carl Sayer, Ernst-Jan Scholte, Richard Shaw, Ronaldo Sousa, Julia Stansfield, Michael Sutton-Croft, Alan Tye, Hugo Verreycken, Aymetric Watterlot, and Adrian Wood.

Supplementary material

10530_2015_986_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1152 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belinda Gallardo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexandra Zieritz
    • 1
    • 3
  • Tim Adriaens
    • 4
  • Céline Bellard
    • 5
    • 6
  • Pieter Boets
    • 7
    • 8
  • J. Robert Britton
    • 9
  • Jonathan R. Newman
    • 10
  • Johan L. C. H. van Valkenburg
    • 11
  • David C. Aldridge
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Ecological RestorationPyrenean Institute of Ecology (IPE-CSIC)SaragossaSpain
  3. 3.School of GeographyUniversity of Nottingham Malaysia CampusSemenyihMalaysia
  4. 4.Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)BrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, Darwin BuildingUCLLondonUK
  6. 6.Ecology, Systematic and Evolution, UMR CNRS 8079Université Paris SudOrsayFrance
  7. 7.Laboratory of Environmental Toxicology and Aquatic EcologyGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  8. 8.Provincial Centre of Environmental ResearchGhentBelgium
  9. 9.Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyBournemouth UniversityPooleUK
  10. 10.Centre for Ecology and Hydrobiology (CEH Wallingford)WallingfordUK
  11. 11.Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, National Reference CentreWageningenThe Netherlands

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