Alien Invasive Species in Irish Water Bodies

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Resource or Project Abstract

A list of priority IAS of concern was compiled and distribution records collated to produce up-to-date distribution maps which can be viewed against a range of GIS layers in the National Invasive Species Database (NISD). For the majority of species, all known records are now included in the NISD. Opportunities to integrate IAS into WFD programmes were identified and a series of actions recommended, including the development of an alert list, the inclusion of IAS in monitoring programmes and the development of surveillance, recording and reporting protocols. A guidance note for contributors of IAS records was produced. The integration of the NISD with the Environmental Data Exchange Network (EDEN) will enable the delivery of distribution maps, the identification of range expansions, species alerts and the identification of waterbodies vulnerable to invasion on a river basin district (RBD) level. The impact of two IAS were investigated in two different RBDs, namely, the ecological impacts in Lough Corrib of a species of Lagarosiphon (L. major), an invasive ecosystem engineer, and the ecology of Ireland?s most recent potentially invasive fish, the chub (Leuciscus cephalus) in the River Inny. In Lough Corrib, the macroinvertebrate community structure differed between invaded and native habitats with greater abundance and biomass in Lagarosiphon beds relative to those dominated by native Chara spp. The structure of the macroinvertebrate community also differed, with an increased abundance of invasive invertebrates, such as the zebra mussel, in the invaded habitats. While many non-native species have negligible negative effects, some cause significant economic and ecological impacts, including reductions in biodiversity, the decline of commercially important species and the alteration of ecosystems and ecosystem services. When these non-native species become established in existing ecosystems and threaten biodiversity and/or result in economic damage, they are referred to as "invasive alien species" (IAS). IAS are regarded as the second most serious cause of biodiversity loss and environmental change worldwide, affecting freshwater ecosystems in particular because of their isolation and endemism. IAS have an impact on the ecosystem processes that are fundamental to human well-being, including the wholesale loss or alteration of goods (e.g. fisheries) and services (e.g. clean and plentiful drinking water, culture and recreation). Less diverse ecosystems, such as those that naturally occur on islands, are particularly susceptible to invasion and damage following the introduction and establishment of IAS. Ireland, owing to its glacial history and location on the western extreme of Europe, is naturally depauperate in terms of its flora and fauna, and has repeatedly undergone invasion by a wide range of taxa, to the extent that many of its freshwater ecosystems are now dominated by IAS. The presence of these IAS in ecosystems can affect the ability of agencies or managers to maintain or improve ecological quality and halt degradation of ecosystem services. This has clear implications for the management of aquatic ecosystems and for the attainment of good ecological status under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr Cathy Maguire
Queens University Belfast
Environmental Research Scientist
School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, BT9 7BN, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Telephone: +44 28902127
e-mail: c.m.maguire@qub.ac.uk

Professor Christine Maggs
Queens University Belfast
Professor of Biological Science
Medical Biology Centre - 01.402 / 6.35, School of Biological Sciences, Queens University Belfast, Belfast BT9 7BN, Northern Ireland
Telephone: +44 28902265
e-mail: c.maggs@qub.ac.uk

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Attachment Name and Download Link
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_83_Maguie_AlienSpecies_prn.pdf  (3.37 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_83_Maguie_AlienSpecies_web.pdf  (2.47 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Maguire, C. Maggs, C.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationAlien Invasive Species in Irish Water Bodies
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=2cdc4681-2bc8-11e1-ad3d-005056ae0019
Unique Identifier2cdc4681-2bc8-11e1-ad3d-005056ae0019
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-07-28

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Maguire, C. Maggs, C.   "Alien Invasive Species in Irish Water Bodies". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=2cdc4681-2bc8-11e1-ad3d-005056ae0019 (Last Accessed: 2017-07-28)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=257
Resource KeywordsAlien Invasive Species in Irish Water Bodies
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2007-W-MS-2-S1
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeWater Quality
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny attached datasets, data files, or information objects can be downloaded for further use in scientific applications under the condition that the source is properly quoted and cited in published papers, journals, websites, presentations, books, etc. Before downloading, users must agree to the "Conditions of Download and Access" from SAFER-Data. These appear before download. Users of the data should also communicate with the original authors/owners of this resource if they are uncertain about any aspect of the data or information provided before further usage
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 2
Project Start Date Monday 1st January 2007 (01-01-2007)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 1st January 2007 (01-01-2007)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 1st December 2010 (01-12-2010)
Published on SAFERWednesday 21st December 2011 (21-12-2011)
Date of Last EditWednesday 21st December 2011 at 11:42:11 (21-12-2011)
Datasets or Files Updated On Wednesday 21st December 2011 at 11:42:11 (21-12-2011)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The research concentrated on the island of Ireland. The research on the ecological impacts of Lagarosiphon in Lough Corrib and chub in the River Inny has increased understanding of the impacts of these species and their interactions with native communities and other nonnative species. It has also demonstrated new ways to measure impacts. In Ireland, the practical management of introduced species is challenging because of the cross-border implications of controlling introductions and spread (Stokes et al., 2006). Ireland, due to its glacial history and location on the western extreme of Europe, is naturally depauperate in terms of its flora and fauna, and has repeatedly undergone invasion by a wide range of taxa, to the extent that many of its freshwater ecosystems are now dominated by IAS. The presence of these IAS in ecosystems can affect the ability of agencies or managers to maintain or improve ecological quality and halt degradation of ecosystem services. This has clear implications for the management of aquatic ecosystems under the WFD

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

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Lineage information about this project or dataset
As part of the STRIVE Programme 2007-2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commissioned this project ("Alien Invasive Species in Irish Water Bodies") with the aims of improving knowledge on the nature and extent of IAS and their impact on natural ecosystems; developing up-to-date national distribution maps showing the location of aquatic IAS in Ireland; and developing and trialling control measures in the context of river basin management (RBM). This project has contributed to meeting these aims through a multidisciplinary, inter-institutional study, combining research, policy analysis and geographical information system (GIS) database development.
Supplementary Information
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Links To Other Related Resources
  http://maps.biodiversityireland.ie (Opens in a new window)
  http://invasives.biodiversityireland.ie (Opens in a new window)

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