ARES(2014)2425342 - 22/07/2014. Organisation and running of a scientific workshop to complete selected invasive alien species (IAS) risk assessments

Roy, Helen ORCID:; Scalera, Riccardo; Booy, Olaf; Branquart, Etienne; Gallardo, Belinda; Genovesi, Piero; Josefsson, Melanie; Kettunen, Marianne; Linnamagi, Merike; Lucy, Frances; Martinou, Angeliki; Moore, Niall; Pergl, Jan; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Solarz, Wojciech; Trichkova, Teodora; van Valkenburg, Johan; Zenetos, Argyro; Bazos, Ioannis; Galanidis, Alexandros; Sheehan, Rory. 2015 ARES(2014)2425342 - 22/07/2014. Organisation and running of a scientific workshop to complete selected invasive alien species (IAS) risk assessments. Brussels, European Commission, 291pp.

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The introduction and spread of invasive alien species (IAS) constitutes one of the most important drivers of global change in biodiversity and ecosystem services. Robust risk assessment methods are required for IAS to provide the foundation upon which to prioritise appropriate action. In a previous study (Roy, Schonrogge et al. 2014) minimum standards were developed to provide an assessment framework for risk assessments and ultimately for underpinning the development of a proposed list of “IAS of EU concern”, in accordance to the provisions of the Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species. In practice, of the protocols assessed in detail, only four (GB NNRA, EPPO DSS, Harmonia+ and ENSARS) were sufficiently compliant with the minimum standards to be considered and of these only the GB NNRA and EPPO DSS have published IAS risk assessments. As a result, using the information from such “substantially compliant” protocols, a draft list of approximately 50 species was compiled. It is important to note that this list of species is based on availability of robust risk assessments already completed through methods which are almost compliant with the minimum standards, and it does not constitute the list of “IAS of EU concern”. In view of the application of the forthcoming EU Regulation on IAS (and building-on ENV.B.2/ETU/2013/0026) the Commission hosted a 2-day scientific workshop to examine the selected risk assessments and pool the existing knowledge existing in the EU to complete the missing information, on the basis of robust scientific evidence, in order to make them fully compliant with the minimum standards, wherever possible. The workshop was led by Helen Roy (CEH) and Riccardo Scalera (ISSG). An additional 16 experts from fifteen member states were selected based on their expertise in invasion biology and represented a breadth of expertise from a variety of perspectives including taxonomic (all taxa), environmental (freshwater, marine and terrestrial), impacts (environmental, socio-economic and health) and disciplines (ecologists, conservation practitioners, scientists, policy-makers, risk assessors). In view of the gaps across risk assessments for ecosystem services and climate change two experts were invited to guide the development of approaches for these specific themes. In total the risk assessments for 56 species were considered. The GB NNRA and EPPO DSS have published IAS risk assessments which, when considering species that score medium to high impact, together cover 51 species (noting that Fallopia japonica and F. sachalinensis are separate species). Two further risk assessments were suggested for consideration by the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat which follow the GB NNRA protocol: coati (Nasua nasua) and skunk (Mephitis mephitis), although scored as low impact. Finally an additional three species have been considered through new European–wide risk assessments, with the reported outcome of high impact, for this project which again follow the GB NNRA protocol: Pallas squirrel (Callosciurus erythraeus), grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and coypu (Myocastor coypus). The main gaps across all risk assessments were in relation to climate change and ecosystem services but additional information was also required on benefits as mentioned with minimum standard “Description (Taxonomy, invasion history, distribution range (native and introduced), geographic scope, socio-economic benefits)” and in some cases information to support the minimum standard “Includes status (threatened or protected) of species or habitat under threat“ was missing. It was agreed that systematic consideration of a list of questions in relation to the minimum standards on ecosystem services and climate change would be useful guidance for experts. An outline of the approaches agreed through the workshop for the minimum standards “Includes possible effects of climate change in the foreseeable future“ and “Can broadly assess environmental impact with respect to ecosystem services” were developed as guidance for documenting information in relation to climate change and ecosystem services. Each species was considered separately with the experts providing an overview of the information available for addressing the identified gaps. After all species had been considered the workshop participants (excluding the EC, Helen Roy and Riccardo Scalera) adopted a consensus approach to confirm whether or not the risk assessment was compliant with the minimum standards and whether the overall score of the risk assessment remained applicable. No changes were made to the scores but any recommendations were noted. There were very few recommendations for change. The outcome for each risk assessment was agreed and summarised as “compliant” or “not compliant” with the minimum standards. Of the risk assessments for the 56 species considered through this project, 53 were agreed to be fully compliant with the minimum standards. However, Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, although compliant with the minimum standards should be excluded as it is not within the scope of the regulation (see art 2.e) because it is listed in annex IV of Council Regulation (EC) No 708/2007 of 11 June 2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture. Four of the risk assessments were not considered to be compliant because of major information gaps: Elodea canadensis (Canadian pondweed), Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed), M. mephitis (skunk), N. nasua (coati).

Item Type: Publication - Report
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
Funders/Sponsors: European Commission
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Report of an ad hoc scientific workshop to complete selected invasive alien species risk assessments – February 2015. Freely available online via Official URL link
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
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Date made live: 22 Apr 2015 13:38 +0 (UTC)

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