||Summary of the plan for AquAliens:
AquAliens is a research programme aimed at increasing our knowledge on how to assess the risks posed by introduced aquatic species and their impact on ecosystems and economy (in Sweden).
Introductions of alien species have been listed as one of the major global human influences on bio-diversity and have in several cases had huge economic impact. The aquatic ecosystems imply better chances of survival and dispersal of introduced species and are more difficult to monitor than terres-trial ecosystems thus high-lightening them from a risk perspective.
The programme will focus on:
i) Evaluating the risks on the ecosystem level for organisms having specific functions or attributes;
ii) Identifying the types of aquatic ecosystems that are most vulnerable to introductions and which kind of organism will pose the largest threat in different environments;
iii) Tools for risk analyses and assessments;
iv) Economic analyses of efficient risk management.
The emphasis of the entire programme will be on risks at the ecosystem level to elucidate general patterns of success or failure in marine, brackish and freshwater ecosystems. Four different types of organisms will be studied: Macroalgae, vascular plants, invertebrates and fish. Those will be studied for patterns of species characteristics such as those facilitating dispersal, settling, establishment and reproduction. Patterns of site characteristics will include heterogeneity in space and time, biodiversity of recipients in comparison to non-invaded areas as well as vector influences.
Dissemination of the results will also emphasize the spread of information to different target groups and on different levels as an important component needed to decrease the dispersal of introduced species.
We are not specifically working with ballast water issues, but it is included as a vector for dispersal of new species.
||pdf-file of the plan (2002)