Alien macro-invertebrates in Flanders, Belgium



    An inventory was made of the alien macroinvertebrates occurring in Flanders. To this end large collections of biological samples were investigated and supplemented with own sampling campaigns. Mainly fresh and brackish surface waters were investigated. Three new macroinvertebrate species for Flanders were discovered. In total 41 alien macroinvertebrates were encountered in fresh and slightly brackish surface waters in Flanders. Additionally, 24 alien macroinvertebrate species have been reported for the Belgian part of the North Sea and its adjacent estuaries. Most alien macroinvertebrates belonged to the crustaceans and molluscs. Over 2,500 samples containing macrocrustaceans were identified to species level, which allowed us to accurately map their distribution in Flanders. Alien species found in the fresh and brackish water environment, mainly originated from the Ponto-Caspian area and North-America followed by Asia and South- and East-Europe. This overview shows that alien macroinvertebrates are widespread and abundantly present in many watercourses in Flanders. Based on observations in neighbouring countries, several additional species are expected to arrive in the near future. A follow-up of the invasive alien species together with a monitoring scheme to detect new incoming species is valuable to estimate the size of the problem and to be able to closely follow their ecological and economic impact
    Date made available2014
    PublisherINBO/Universiteit Gent
    Temporal coverage1-Jan-1989 - 1-Jan-2012
    Geographical coverageVlaanderen

    EWI Biomedical sciences

    • B003-ecology
    • B005-zoology

    Taxonomic list

    • barnacles, crabs, lobsters and shrimps (Crustacea)
    • snails, clams and mussels (Mollusca)
    • macroinvertebrates

    Thematic List 2020

    • Water
    • Invasive species
    • Data & infrastructure

    Geographic list

    • Flanders

    Thematic list

    • Freshwater-seawater transitions
    • Rivers and streams
    • Still waters
    • Estuaries
    • Invasive species (nature management)
    • Invasive species (species diversity)
    • Invasive species (fauna management)

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