Special Issue "Biological Invasions in Changing Aquatic Ecosystems: Future Perspectives"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Biodiversity and Functionality of Aquatic Ecosystems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021) | Viewed by 8945

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Lyudmila Kamburska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Water Research Institute, National Research Council (IRSA-CNR), Viale Tonolli 50, 28922, Verbania, Italy
Interests: aquatic ecosystems; invasion biology; plankton ecology; regime shifts; biodiversity conservation
Prof. Dr. Agnese Marchini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Pavia, Via S. Epifanio 14, 27100 Pavia, Italy
Interests: marine alien species; benthic invertebrates; invasion ecology; global change
Prof. Dr. Hugh MacIsaac
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Ave, Windsor, ON, N9B 3P4, Canada
Interests: aquatic invasive species; invasion biology; eDNA tools; global changes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are living in an era of unique environmental changes, including socio-economic shifts associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Today more than ever we are suffering the impacts of global changes, among which are climate warming, habitat loss and fragmentation, cultural eutrophication, biodiversity loss, and alterations of ecosystem functioning. The occurrence of these phenomena has accelerated owing to growing human populations and the attendant demand for resources and global trade. Making matters even more complicated, many of these individual stressors interact in often complicated and poorly understood ways. For example, aquatic systems can be simultaneously and interactively affected by climate change, watershed changes, and the introduction of invasive alien species (IAS). The impact of IAS on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning may be amplified by these global changes. Climate warming alters seasonal phenology of many species, thereby altering species interactions and creating opportunities for IAS. There are still many gaps in our understanding of factors affecting the “success” of IAS and their impacts on recipient communities.

We welcome articles and review papers by scientists dealing with the broader issue of biological invasions in aquatic ecosystems (marine and freshwater), including species establishment and loss, interspecific interactions, changing biogeography, management challenges, and effects of ecosystem functioning and services, both now and in the future.

Dr. Lyudmila Kamburska
Prof. Dr. Agnese Marchini
Prof. Dr. Hugh MacIsaac
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • aquatic ecosystem
  • marine
  • freshwaters
  • invasive alien species
  • global environmental changes

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
Invasive Alien Species of Benthic Macroinvertebrates and Fish in the Bulgarian Sector of the Danube River—Results of the Joint Danube Survey 4 (JDS4)
Water 2022, 14(15), 2299; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152299 - 24 Jul 2022
Viewed by 488
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the status of aquatic invasive alien species (IAS) in the shoreline zone of the Bulgarian sector of the Danube River, Danube tributaries, and adjacent standing water bodies in the frame of the Joint Danube Survey [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the status of aquatic invasive alien species (IAS) in the shoreline zone of the Bulgarian sector of the Danube River, Danube tributaries, and adjacent standing water bodies in the frame of the Joint Danube Survey 4 (JDS4). Seven benthic macroinvertebrates and seven fish IAS were identified. The crayfish Faxonius limosus was frequently found and abundant in the tributaries. The mussels Corbicula fluminea, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, and Sinanodonta woodiana dominated in the Danube River and the middle and lower reaches of the tributaries, while the fish Carassius gibelio, Perccottus glenii, and Lepomis gibbosus were most abundant in the standing water bodies. The integrated biocontamination estimated by taxonomic groups (crayfish, molluscs, and fish), sampling methods, and type of water bodies ranged from moderate in the shoreline zone of the Danube River, through moderate to high in the canals and lakes, to severe in the Danube tributaries and the reservoirs. The results demonstrate the importance of IAS in the assessment of the ecological status/potential of the water bodies in the DRB. The comprehensive evaluation of the aquatic IAS pressure will provide valuable information and support for the implementation of the national and EU IAS and water policies in the DRB. Full article
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Article
The Colonization of a Cold Spring Ecosystem by the Invasive Species Potamopyrgus antipodarum (Gray, 1843) (Gastropoda: Tateidae) (Southern Poland)
Water 2021, 13(22), 3209; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223209 - 12 Nov 2021
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Springs are unique aquatic environments that support specific biota, including endemic species and rare species listed in Red Lists. Due to their usually small size, springs are highly sensitive to disturbance. Many of them are threatened by aquifer depletion, contamination, surface-water diversion, livestock [...] Read more.
Springs are unique aquatic environments that support specific biota, including endemic species and rare species listed in Red Lists. Due to their usually small size, springs are highly sensitive to disturbance. Many of them are threatened by aquifer depletion, contamination, surface-water diversion, livestock trampling, recreation, and invasive species. The aim of this study was to assess the colonization success of the invasive New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in a cold spring ecosystem in southern Poland. In Europe, this species has recently been added to the top “hundred worst” alien species due to its impact on invaded ecosystems. The study was carried out in two areas of the spring ecosystem—in the springhead and the springbrook—over a four-year period. Potamopyrus antipodarum dominated the benthic macroinvertebrate communities in both areas of the spring ecosystem. Nevertheless, its abundance in the springbrook was significantly greater, and increased noticeably during subsequent years compared to that in the springhead. The populations of P. antipodarum were exclusively composed of females. Smaller-sized New Zealand mudsnails were more abundant near the spring’s source than at the second site. The females at the springhead became fecund at sizes as small as 3.7 mm (the number of embryos was between 0 and 37), while at the springbrook, embryos were found in snails as small as 3.4 mm (the number of embryos was between 0 and 42). Our results suggest that the lower water temperature at the springhead may limit the population size of P. antipodarum, thus making its density too low to be able to affect the community structure of benthic macroinvertebrates, including the spring snail Bythinella cf. austriaca. Full article
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Article
Impacts Analysis of Alien Macroinvertebrate Species in the Hydrographic System of a Subalpine Lake on the Italian–Swiss Border
Water 2021, 13(21), 3146; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13213146 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 832
Abstract
The potential invasiveness of alien macroinvertebrate species in the Italian/Swiss hydrographic system of Lake Maggiore (NW Italy) was assessed through the Aquatic Species Invasiveness Screening Kit, a risk assessment tool developed for quantifying the impacts of alien species on the commercial, environmental, and [...] Read more.
The potential invasiveness of alien macroinvertebrate species in the Italian/Swiss hydrographic system of Lake Maggiore (NW Italy) was assessed through the Aquatic Species Invasiveness Screening Kit, a risk assessment tool developed for quantifying the impacts of alien species on the commercial, environmental, and species traits sectors. Data were collected using the databases provided by two regional environmental agencies in northern Italy (Lombardy and Piedmont regions) and by the governmental monitoring program of Switzerland, which were integrated with a systematic literature search on Google scholar and ISI Web of Science. In the assessment area, 16 macroinvertebrate invasive alien species were reported: nine mollusks, four decapods, and three amphipods. The species assessment indicated seven species with a high level of invasiveness: Procambarus clarkii, Faxonius limosus (formerly, Orconectes limosus) and Pacifastacus leniusculus, Dreissena polymorpha, Corbicula fluminea, Sinanodonta woodiana, and Pseudosuccinea columella. The results allow invasive species managers to understand which species to focus their monitoring on in the near future in order to track IAS movements and limit their spread within the hydrographic system and to provide the identification and refinement of concerted bilateral strategies aimed at limiting the impacts of these species. They also account for the implications of future climate change on the invasion potential of each species. Full article
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Article
Pilot Application of ‘Invasive Alien Species in Europe’ Smartphone App in the Danube Region
Water 2021, 13(21), 2952; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13212952 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 961
Abstract
The present pilot study tested and validated the use of the ‘Invasive Alien Species in Europe’ smartphone app (IASapp) in the Lower Danube Region. The study was conducted in three stages: (1) Testing the effectiveness of the app in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia [...] Read more.
The present pilot study tested and validated the use of the ‘Invasive Alien Species in Europe’ smartphone app (IASapp) in the Lower Danube Region. The study was conducted in three stages: (1) Testing the effectiveness of the app in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia by organizing information and field testing campaigns; (2) Improving and extending the functionality of the app and developing a list of the invasive alien species (IAS) of concern to the Danube River Basin (DRB); and (3) Testing the updated app during the Joint Danube Survey 4 campaign. Overall, 13 campaigns were carried out, during which seven aquatic IAS of EU concern and nine IAS relevant to the DRB were recorded. Currently, the developed new functionality of IASapp allows the recording of 64 IAS of DRB concern. The updated IASapp has an important role in increasing public awareness on IAS issues, as well as in enlarging the participation and output of citizen science in the IAS early detection, monitoring and reporting in the DRB. Therefore, the constant communication with existing stakeholder groups and establishment of new citizen science groups is crucial for increasing the effectiveness of using the IASapp in the Danube Region and tackling the IAS issues. Full article
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Article
Invasion of the European River Lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis in the Upper Volga
Water 2021, 13(13), 1825; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131825 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 867
Abstract
The European river lamprey came to the Upper Volga from the Baltic Sea most probably via a system of shipways developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Vyshnii Volochek, Tikhvin, and Mariinskaya water systems are possible invasion pathways for this species. Dispersal [...] Read more.
The European river lamprey came to the Upper Volga from the Baltic Sea most probably via a system of shipways developed in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Vyshnii Volochek, Tikhvin, and Mariinskaya water systems are possible invasion pathways for this species. Dispersal and colonization of the Caspian Basin was likely a combination of upstream and downstream migrations. Analysis of museum and our own samples showed that lamprey possibly migrated upstream (for spawning) along rivers of the Baltic Basin until they reached the watershed boundary from which they could disperse downstream (in the juvenile period) into rivers of the Caspian Basin. Dispersal in the Volga River could occur in accordance with the migration cycle of this opportunistic lamprey species and lead to the present distribution. Key features (dentition and number of trunk myomeres) showed that lamprey from the studied area are similar to lampreys from the Baltic basin, although specimens in each population have their own peculiarities in morphology (size and coloration). Genetic data (Cyt-b) support the idea of a relatively recent invasion of lamprey into the Upper Volga. The haplotype, found in three rivers, is one of the most widespread in Europe and is found along the supposed route of invasion. Full article
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Article
Fish Assemblage Shift after Japanese Smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis McAllister, 1963) Invasion in Lake Erhai, a Subtropical Plateau Lake in China
Water 2021, 13(13), 1800; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13131800 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1220
Abstract
The introduction of non-native fish species is known to have adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems, but their effect on plateau lakes is not well studied. In this study, we examined the effect of the Japanese smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis) invasion on the [...] Read more.
The introduction of non-native fish species is known to have adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems, but their effect on plateau lakes is not well studied. In this study, we examined the effect of the Japanese smelt (Hypomesus nipponensis) invasion on the fish assemblage in Lake Erhai, a subtropical plateau lake in southwestern China. Through cluster analysis and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), we found a significant fish assemblage shift: the population of sharpbelly (Hemiculter leucisculus) fell by 67% in catch per unit effort (CPUE) from 2.262 to 0.741; topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva) fell by 52% from 0.61 to 0.29; and icefish (Neosalanx taihuensis) plummeted by 88% from 0.736 to 0.088. Meanwhile, the numbers for crucian carp (Carassius auratus) improved by almost 185% from 1.82 to 3.36. A Pearson correlation analysis showed that these four species significantly correlated with the invasion of the Japanese smelt: sharpbelly (−0.71), topmouth gudgeon (−0.71), icefish (−0.62), and crucian carp (0.81). This study documented the expansion of invasive fish and their effects on native species over time, thus providing a case study of invasive fish as well as a theoretical basis for further research into interspecies interactions. Full article
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Communication
Double Trouble: Synergy between Habitat Loss and the Spread of the Alien Species Caulerpa cylindracea (Sonder) in Three Mediterranean Habitats
Water 2021, 13(10), 1342; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13101342 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
The role of habitat degradation on the spread of the alien green alga Caulerpa cylindracea is reported here by comparing observations achieved through a multi-year assessment on three Mediterraneans habitats, namely Posidonia oceanica meadows, Phyllophora crispa turf, and coralligenous reefs. Due to the [...] Read more.
The role of habitat degradation on the spread of the alien green alga Caulerpa cylindracea is reported here by comparing observations achieved through a multi-year assessment on three Mediterraneans habitats, namely Posidonia oceanica meadows, Phyllophora crispa turf, and coralligenous reefs. Due to the peculiarity of the study site, both natural-reference and impacted conditions were investigated. C. cylindracea occurred in all the studied habitats under impacted conditions. High susceptibility to the invasion characterized impacted P. oceanica, where Caulerpa cover reached 70.0% in summer months. C. cylindracea cover did not differ significantly among conditions in P. crispa turf, where values never exceeded 5.0%. Conversely, the invasive green algae was low in abundance and patchily distributed in coralligenous reefs. Our results confirmed that habitat loss enhances the spread of C. cylindracea, although with different magnitudes among habitats. Dead matte areas of P. oceanica represented the most vulnerable habitat among those analyzed, whereas coralligenous reefs were less susceptible to the invasion under both the studied conditions. Full article
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Article
Trophic Niches, Trophic Positions, and Niche Overlaps between Non-Native and Native Fish Species in a Subalpine Lake
Water 2020, 12(12), 3475; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123475 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1424
Abstract
In the last century, Italian freshwater ecosystems have been invaded by several non-native fish species. In the subalpine Lake Mergozzo (northern Italy), several recently introduced non-native species dramatically expanded their populations. We used carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes to describe the isotopic niches [...] Read more.
In the last century, Italian freshwater ecosystems have been invaded by several non-native fish species. In the subalpine Lake Mergozzo (northern Italy), several recently introduced non-native species dramatically expanded their populations. We used carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes to describe the isotopic niches and trophic positions of native and non-native fish species in Lake Mergozzo. We evaluated their trophic niches, trophic diversity, trophic redundancy and trophic evenness utilizing isotopic niche metrics, and estimated asymmetrical niche overlaps. The trophic traits of non-native fish species and Perca fluviatilis clearly define them as trophic generalists, in terms of among-individual variability of their isotopic niches. The historical increase in abundance of fish non-native species in this lake, their dominance by numbers and biomass within the assemblage, and their broad asymmetrical niche overlaps suggest that their higher degree of trophic generalism might have been one of the key factors that have promoted the invasion of the recipient community. Full article
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Article
Broad Diet Composition and Seasonal Feeding Variation Facilitate Successful Invasion of the Shimofuri Goby (Tridentiger bifasciatus) in a Water Transfer System
Water 2020, 12(12), 3411; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123411 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 698
Abstract
The diet composition of an invasive population of Shimofuri goby (Tridentiger bifasciatus) was investigated bimonthly during the period from September 2015 through August 2016 in Nansi Lake, a storage lake of the East Route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project, China. [...] Read more.
The diet composition of an invasive population of Shimofuri goby (Tridentiger bifasciatus) was investigated bimonthly during the period from September 2015 through August 2016 in Nansi Lake, a storage lake of the East Route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project, China. The diet consists of a broad spectrum of prey items, including mollusca (Bellamya sp. and Physa sp.), aquatic insects (Odonata sp., Chironomidae sp., and Cirolanidae sp.), other macroinvertebrates (Nematoda sp. and Rhynchobdellida sp.), shrimp (Palaemon modestus and Gammarus sp.), fish (Rhinogobius giurinus and Tridentiger bifasciatus), fish eggs, and detritus. Dominant diets shifted from Rhynchobdellida sp. and unidentified digested food in July to P. modestus during September and November, and then shifted to both P. modestus and R. giurinus. Additionally, cannibalism was observed in March before spawning season of the goby, during which large males (SL > 70.0 mm) predated on small-sized ones. We suggest that broad spectrum of prey items and apparent seasonal shifting of dominant diets in the invasive goby fish, which might be an important mechanism favoring its successful invasion in water transfer system. Full article
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