Invasion History, Biology and Impacts of the Baikalian Amphipod Gmelinoides Fasciatus
During the 1960s and 1970s the Baikalian amphipod Gmelinoides fasciatus (Stebbing) was intentionally introduced into more than 20 lakes and reservoirs outside its native range in Siberia and European Russia, in order to enhance fish production. Abilities of Gmelinoides to spread within the basins and to compete with native amphipods were neglected. In the European Russia this species successfully established in the Volga River basin, in such large lakes as Lake Ladoga, Lake Onega, Lake Peipsi, Lake Ilmen and their basins, and in the Neva Estuary (Baltic Sea). In most cases the native amphipods were completely replaced by Gmelinoides, and negative impact on other aquatic invertebrate species is also likely because direct predation by Gmelinoides. Studies of Gmelinoides biology, including experimental estimation of its salinity and temperature resistance, showed that this invasive amphipod tolerates wide range of environmental conditions and potentially is able to invade other parts of the Baltic Sea and inland waters within its basin. Considering intensive shipping activity in the Neva Estuary, and high densities of Gmelinoides in the St.Petersburg harbour area, introduction of this species into the North American Great Lakes and estuarine ecosystems with ballast waters of ships via existing invasion corridor is likely.
KeywordsLittoral Zone Ballast Water Invasion History Intentional Introduction Volga Reservoir
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