This website was developed as part of the Delivering Alien Invasive Species In Europe (DAISIE) project funded by the sixth framework programme of the European Commission (Contract Number: SSPI-CT-2003-511202). It provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information on biological invasions in Europe, delivered via an international team of leading experts in the field of biological invasions, latest technological developments in database design and display, and an extensive network of European collaborators and stakeholders.
The general objectives of DAISIE are:
DAISIE is a pivotal instrument in developing a Europe-wide strategy that encompasses both the geographical scale of the problem and unites the study of different taxa in marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. With direct access to national knowledge bases throughout Europe, those addressing the invasive alien species challenge will easily obtain data on which species are invasive or potentially invasive in particular habitats, and use this information in their planning efforts. Data has been collated for vertebrates, invertebrates, marine and inland aquatic organisms as well as plants from up to 99 countries/regions (including islands) in the wider Europe. Over 248 datasets have been assembled and verified by experts, representing the largest database on invasive species in the world. Access to this resource is provided through three main search facilities:
Reliable, detailed information on the most invasive alien species in Europe is an essential tool for preventing their spread and impact, and for applying effective and appropriate control strategies. Using DAISIE's major resource on the distribution of non-native species in Europe (~250 checklists), we have identified ‘100 of the worst’ invasive aliens in Europe, covering a broad spectrum of life forms and representing some of the worst species in terms of their impact on biodiversity, economy and health. Species accounts for these species provide information on their biology and ecology, habitat and distributions (including detailed maps), introduction pathways, invasion trends, impacts and management methods including ways of prevention.
Use the menu items on the left-hand side of this page to find out more about alien species and the DAISIE project. Other information may also be found at www.daisie.se
|The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has caused ecological and economic damage in watersheds in Europe and North American. Photo: Dan Minchin.||The grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) is a major threat to the existence of the native Red squirrel in Italy and the United Kingdom. Photo: Sandro Bertolino.||Alien plants, like the Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) may grow in enormous numbers and form dense growths that exclude native plants and animals. Photo: Peter Pyšek.|
|The Canada goose frequents parks and beaches in such large numbers, that its fecies can pollute water to such a degree that it may become a health hazard to swimmers and bathers. Photo: Stephen Gollasch|
The DAISIE project and this website have been developed by an international team of leading experts in the field of biological invasions. The team consists of the following 19 partners from 15 nations.
|CKFF Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora||Slovenia|
|CREAF, Centre for Ecological Research & Forestry Applications||Spain|
|GoConsult, Gollasch Consulting||Germany|
|HUJI, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem||Israel|
|IBOT, Institute of Botany, Department of Invasion Ecology||Czech Republic|
|INRA, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique||France|
|KUCORPI, Coastal Research and Planning Institute, Klaipeda University||Lithuania|
|MOI, Marine Organism Investigations||Ireland|
|NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology||United Kingdom|
|NIO-IOLR, National Institute of Oceanography||Israel|
|NKUA-ECO, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens||Greece|
|NWI, National Wildlife Institute||Italy|
|SEPA, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency||Sweden|
|UBA-A, The Federal Environment Agency||Austria|
|UFZ, Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle||Germany|
|ULFPP, University of Ljubljana||Slovenia|
|St. Petersburg State University||Russian Federation|
|UBERN, University of Bern||Switzerland|
The DAISIE project and this website have been made possible through a wide community of experts in biological invasions throughout Europe. We are indebted to the following list of contributors and collaborators, without whom this international initiative would not have been possible.
|Plant Protection Institute||Albania|
|Institute of Zoology||Belarus|
|Université Libre de Bruxelles||Belgium|
|University of Forestry||Bulgaria|
|Institute of Botany||Bulgaria|
|Institute of Zoology||Bulgaria|
|University of Zagreb||Croatia|
|Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle||France|
|Dirigente di ricerca ICRAM||Italy|
|University of Metz||France|
|Aristotle University of Thessaloniki||Greece|
|National Agricultural Research Foundation (NAGREF)||Greece|
|University of Padua||Italy|
|Universita degli Studi di Sassari||Italy|
|La Sapienza University||Italy|
|Università di Firenze||Italy|
|Balaton Limnological Research||Hungary|
|University of West-Hungary||Hungary|
|Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Agency||Latvia|
|Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment||Malta|
|University "Sv. Kiril i Metodij"- Skopje||Macedonia|
|Institute for the Protection of Nature||Montenegro|
|Norwegian Forest Research Institute||Norway|
|University of Lodz Banacha||Poland|
|Institute of Nature Conservation||Poland|
|Universidade Nova de Lisboa||Portugal|
|University of Évora||Portugal|
|Instituto Superior de Agronomia||Portugal|
|CERNAS (Centro de Estudos de Recursos Naturais, Ambiente e Sociedade)||Portugal|
|National Institute for Marine Research and Development "Grigore Antipa"||Romania|
|Forest Research and Management Institute||Romania|
|Severtsov Institute of Ecology & Evolution||Russian Federation|
|Institute for Biological Research "Sinisa Stankovic"||Serbia & Montenegro|
|Chamber for Agriculture and Forestry of Slovenia||Slovenia|
|Estación Biológica de Doñana||Spain|
|Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas||Ukraine|
|Department of Genetics||United Kingdom|
|Anglia Ruskin University||United Kingdom|
|Università di Padova||Italy|
|Agricultural and Medicine Veterinary University "Ion Ionescu de la Brad", Faculty of Agriculture Discipline: Botany||Romania|
|Head of the Herbarium of introduced plants (MSKH) Central Botanical Garden of NAS of Belarus||Belorussia|
This website, the European Invasive Alien Species Gateway, links four individual data systems developed during the DAISIE project for public access over the internet. Click on the links below for more details on the approach taken and methods used to develop these systems:
Current expertise in biological invasions is distributed across research organisations throughout Europe and is funded mainly by national programmes. The European Alien Species Expertise Registry represents a fundamental step towards linking these organisations in ways that provide added value at European level and provide the critical mass of expertise in invasive alien species research to meet European-scale requirements. The European Expertise Registry is accessible to all, over the internet by searching for experts. It can be used to:
The European Expertise Registry contains details for individual experts including: contact information, taxonomic expertise, knowledge of different ecosystems, thematic areas (population ecology, management, impact assessment, current and recent research projects, publications and reports etc.). By the end of 2009, the Registry contains 2440 experts from 99 countries for 3726 taxa. Experts within the database can be searched here. The DAISIE European Alien Species Expertise Registry is likely to be the world's largest collection of information on experts and expertise on alien invasive species.
The lack of a pan-European inventory of alien species makes it difficult to answer relatively basic questions relating to the identification, status, and trends of alien species in Europe. The DAISIE European Alien Species Database provides an up-to-date inventory of alien species known to inhabit Europe, providing a key resource for building an early detection and warning system for the Europe?s environmental managers. The Alien Species Database has been built by compiling, extending and peer-reviewing several hundred national lists of species of fungi, plants, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
The European Alien Species Database represents a major resource and contains information on 12122 species and 79 inland and 57 coastal and marine areas, and can be searched via species names and through the geographic regions of Europe. The database aims to:
Geographical scope of the European Alien Species Database
The main geographic area covered by the DAISIE European Alien Species Database is the continent of Europe. For terrestrial species this includes all countries (including islands) within the continent of Europe, as well as Greenland. For coastal aquatic groups, coastlines of all European countries are included, as well as countries on the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. countries of western Asia and north Africa).
Taxonomic scope of the European Alien Species Database
The European Alien Species Database includes all species that have been introduced as a result of human activities, either intentionally or unintentionally. The database covers both invasive alien species and non-invasive alien species (see definition of terms, below).
Definition of terms
There are several terms used to name species that are transported out of their native range through human intervention, including those species that become ecological or economic problems. The DAISIE European Alien Species Database follows definitions of alien species and invasive alien species (IAS) as adopted by the Convention of Parties (COP 6, decision VI/23) supplemented by some definitions from IUCN Guidelines and ICES code of practice.
Alien species (syn: non-native, non-indigenous, foreign, exotic, introduced) - a species, subspecies or lower taxon (such as a variety, race, provenance or stock), introduced outside its natural past or present distribution; includes any part, gametes, seeds, eggs, or propagules of such species that might survive and subsequently reproduce (COP 6, decision VI/23)
Invasive alien species (IAS) (or alien invasive species) - an alien species whose introduction and/or spread threaten biological diversity (COP 6, decision VI/23)
IUCN 2000 - Guidelines for the prevention of Biodiversity Loss Caused by Alien Invasive Species
IUCN 1999 - draft guidelines for the prevention of Biodiversity Loss Caused by Alien Invasive Species - not available on-line.
ICES 2003 - code of practice on the Introduction and transfer of Marine Organisms
COP 6, decision VI/23 - on alien species that threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.
A more extensive list of cross-taxon and biome definitions of alien status and related terms can be found here.
Database fields The vocabulary defining terms used in the DAISIE European Alien Species Database are given below.
|Unintentional||Unknowingly - as a by-product of human activities (parasites introduced with “intentional” aliens belong here, as they were introduced unknowingly)|
|Dispersed||Natural dispersal from introduced population elsewhere in Europe. If a species was introduced in one place and then it spread naturally (dispersed) into neighbouring area (e.g. Cercopagis pengoi)|
|Escaped||Escaped from captivity/gardens/agriculture/other culture|
|Released||Deliberate release/introduction in wild|
|Hybrid||Spontaneously generated hybrid or species descended from one, e.g. Introduced salmoniids breed with native salmonids producing less valuable hybrid forms. Hybrids created by humans do not count here|
Pathway (used for aquatic species)
|Aquaculture||Introduced in aquaculture, mariculture|
|Fisheries||Stock movement, introduced as fish food; dispersal via fishing gear|
|Escapes||Animals, plants and their pests that escaped from captivity, laboratories, farms|
|Ornamental||Live food trade, animals and plants used for ornamental purposes in parks, gardening, bonsai, etc|
|Biocontrol||Introduced as biological control agent or pest of another species|
|Established||The species has formed self-reproducing populations where introduced|
|Extinct||Once established, now extinct|
|Not established||The species has not formed self-reproducing populations (casual, incidental)|
|Abundant||Frequently occurring throughout the country in high abundances|
|Absent or extinct||Species not available anymore|
|Common||Although not abundant but easy to find throughout entire country|
|Local||Patchy distribution, with higher abundance in certain localities|
|Rare||Species observed only in certain places, low abundances|
|Single record||Evidence based on single observation in certain locality|
|Sporadic||Although in low abundance, species is more or less uniformly distributed throughout an area. May be related with temporary phenomena like short-time population explosions|
The European Invasive Alien Species Information System focuses on 100 invasive species that threaten the natural environment of Europe. The list of species covers a range of taxonomic groups with 3 fungi, 18 terrestrial plants, 16 terrestrial invertebrates, 15 vertebrates, 16 inland water species and 32 coastal species giving a broad spectrum of life forms and functional types. These species represent some of the worst European invader species in terms of their impact on biodiversity, economy and heath, and illustrate a broad representation of impacts at different levels of ecological complexity: genetic, populations, ecosystem processes and services. A broad range of European invaded ecosystems is represented, with examples from natural and semi-natural habitats.
Species information has been authored and reviewed by DAISIE partners and/or by expert contributors from around Europe. The species accounts offer information on the biology and ecology of the species, habitat and distribution characteristics, introduction pathway, invasion trend, impacts and management methods including ways of prevention. Special emphasis was given to species impact and management. The agreed structure of the account is common, facilitating comparison among taxa. Each account for the ‘100 of the worst’ invasive species in Europe is available on this website and can be downloaded in a printable (.pdf) format. Accounts are ~650 words long and include a distribution map for Europe and photographs.
Biological invasions are large-scale phenomena of widespread importance and they represent one of the major threats to European biodiversity. They are characterised by remarkable spatio-temporal dynamics with many species having extended their distribution range from within a single region to much of Europe within the last century. The dramatic spread of non-native species has been facilitated by association with intercontinental commerce and travel (e.g., ballast, seed contaminants, horticultural trade), ability to disperse along regional transport networks (e.g., roadsides, canals, railways), and capacity for local colonisation and population increase. Non-native species have considerable potential to spread over large areas in a relatively short time; this places considerable urgency into integrating an understanding of spatio-temporal dynamics at the heart of invasive species management. However, up to now majority of information on the distribution of alien species in most taxonomic groups come from national mapping schemes, with no major effort to integrate at the spatial scale of the whole continent.
Distributions of the ‘100 of the worst’ invasive species have been mapped. The Common European Chronological Grid Reference System (CGRS) was used to produce distribution maps. The CGRS mapping grid is ca 50 x 50 km, depending on the latitudinal/longitudinal position, and was chosen because it employs reasonably detailed resolution for Europe and is commonly used for species mapping; this allowed the DAISIE team to collate majority of distribution data available in Europe. Data sources included national atlases, floras, faunas and databases as well as summary data available for the whole of Europe, e.g. Atlas Florae Europeae for some plant species; Mitchell-Jones et al. 1999 for mammals; updated, corrected and extended CIESM atlas for marine aliens.
The following criteria were used to map the distribution ranges of target species. For each grid, the following information was recorded: (a) known presence of the species; (b) known absence; (c) information on distribution not available. Where known, additional information on (d) species previously present but eradicated and (e) native distribution, was also considered. Where precise information on distribution was missing but the species was known to occur in a country/region/district, the distribution in these administrative units was recorded and mapped by using different colours. A different format was adopted for mapping invaders in aquatic habitats where linear distribution were represented.
Where mapping is on a regional level the World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions has been used as a basis. As stated in this standard, "The use of any particular name to refer to a particular area in this geographical system is intended solely for the purpose of clarity of communication. It should not be taken to imply recognition of any government, any political persuasion, or any political boundary."