Alien Malacostracan Crustaceans in the Eastern Baltic Sea: Pathways and Consequences

  • Nadezhda A. Berezina
  • Victor V. Petryashev
  • Arturas Razinkovas
  • Jūratė Lesutienė
Part of the Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 6)


The recent invasion history of malacostracan crustaceans into the eastern Baltic Sea is reviewed with 16 alien species being recorded from the easternmost area. These invasives constitute 3% of the total species richness (50% of the alien biota), and comprise up to 80% of the total benthic biomass in several localities. The Ponto-Azov-Caspian species are the most diverse and abundant component. Their taxonomical and ecological dominance could be explained by a combination of factors including similarities between the Baltic, the donor regions and the waterway network that allows their dispersal. The high vulnerability of the Baltic Sea to invasion may be a consequence of low native biodiversity coupled with anthropogenic and natural factors. The potential impact of alien Malacostraca on the native community was assessed following predatory studies of alien amphipods on native benthic biota. These studies indicated that the alien amphipods may alter the structure of their prey communities. Alien crustaceans have outnumbered or even completely replaced native species and/or earlier established invaders locally in the eastern Baltic Sea.


Alien Malacostraca benthic Community invasion History • Predatory impact Baltic Sea Curonian Lagoon Vistula Lagoon Neva Estuary 



We cordially thank Professor Bella Galil and Dr Paul Clark for their invitation to contribute to this book, useful advice and text editing. We also thank the anonymous reviewers and Dr Gail Ashton for valuable comments and English revision.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadezhda A. Berezina
    • 1
  • Victor V. Petryashev
    • 1
  • Arturas Razinkovas
    • 2
  • Jūratė Lesutienė
    • 2
  1. 1.Zoological Institute Russian Academy of SciencesSaint-PetersburgRussia
  2. 2.Coastal Research and Planning InstituteKlaipeda UniversityKlaipedaLithuania

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