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      Applying the Convention on Biological Diversity Pathway Classification to alien species in Europe

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          Abstract

          The number of alien species arriving within new regions has increased at unprecedented rates. Managing the pathways through which alien species arrive and spread is important to reduce the threat of biological invasions. Harmonising information on pathways across individual sectors and user groups is therefore critical to underpin policy and action. The European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN) has been developed to easily facilitate open access to data of alien species in Europe. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Pathway Classification framework has become a global standard for the classification of pathways. We followed a structured approach to assign pathway information within EASIN for a subset of alien species in Europe, which covered 4169 species, spanning taxonomic groups and environments. We document constraints and challenges associated with implementing the CBD Pathway Classification framework and propose potential amendments to increase clarity. This study is unique in the scope of taxonomic coverage and also in the inclusion of primary (independent introductions to Europe) and secondary (means of dispersal for species expansion within Europe, after their initial introduction) modes of introduction. In addition, we summarise the patterns of introduction pathways within this subset of alien species within the context of Europe. Based on the analyses, we confirm that the CBD Pathway Classification framework offers a robust, hierarchical system suitable for the classification of alien species introduction and spread across a wide range of taxonomic groups and environments. However, simple modifications could improve interpretation of the pathway categories ensuring consistent application across databases and information systems at local, national, regional, continental and global scales. Improving consistency would also help in the development of pathway action plans, as required by EU legislation.

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          Most cited references 72

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          Scientists' warning on invasive alien species

          ABSTRACT Biological invasions are a global consequence of an increasingly connected world and the rise in human population size. The numbers of invasive alien species – the subset of alien species that spread widely in areas where they are not native, affecting the environment or human livelihoods – are increasing. Synergies with other global changes are exacerbating current invasions and facilitating new ones, thereby escalating the extent and impacts of invaders. Invasions have complex and often immense long‐term direct and indirect impacts. In many cases, such impacts become apparent or problematic only when invaders are well established and have large ranges. Invasive alien species break down biogeographic realms, affect native species richness and abundance, increase the risk of native species extinction, affect the genetic composition of native populations, change native animal behaviour, alter phylogenetic diversity across communities, and modify trophic networks. Many invasive alien species also change ecosystem functioning and the delivery of ecosystem services by altering nutrient and contaminant cycling, hydrology, habitat structure, and disturbance regimes. These biodiversity and ecosystem impacts are accelerating and will increase further in the future. Scientific evidence has identified policy strategies to reduce future invasions, but these strategies are often insufficiently implemented. For some nations, notably Australia and New Zealand, biosecurity has become a national priority. There have been long‐term successes, such as eradication of rats and cats on increasingly large islands and biological control of weeds across continental areas. However, in many countries, invasions receive little attention. Improved international cooperation is crucial to reduce the impacts of invasive alien species on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human livelihoods. Countries can strengthen their biosecurity regulations to implement and enforce more effective management strategies that should also address other global changes that interact with invasions.
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            Biodiversity: invasions by marine life on plastic debris.

            Colonization by alien species poses one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Here I investigate the colonization by marine organisms of drift debris deposited on the shores of 30 remote islands from the Arctic to the Antarctic (across all oceans) and find that human litter more than doubles the rafting opportunities for biota, particularly at high latitudes. Although the poles may be protected from invasion by freezing sea surface temperatures, these may be under threat as the fastest-warming areas anywhere are at these latitudes.
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              Impacts of invasive alien marine species on ecosystem services and biodiversity: a pan-European review

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                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                October 15 2020
                October 15 2020
                : 62
                : 333-363
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.62.53796
                © 2020

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