International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species

Anouk D'Hont gave a talk at the International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS2017) on 23 October 2017.

This is a link to the program and abstracts.

The introduction and spread of invasive species in freshwater and marine environments is a worldwide problem that is increasing in frequency.

There are various pathways by which non-indigenous invertebrate, fish, and plant species are introduced, become established and cause significant damage to coastal and freshwater ecosystems, and to the economies that depend upon them. Next to habitat loss, invasive species are considered the greatest threat to native biodiversity.
Our PRIDE-researcher Anouk D'Hont gave a talk:
Do Ecological Interactions Explain Dominance Shift between Ponto-Caspian Bivalves Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena rostriformis bugensis in their Introduced Range? 
Anouk D’Hont1,2, Adriaan Gittenberger1, Rob Leuven3 
1 GiMaRIS 
2 Pontocaspian Biodiversity Rise and Demise (PRIDE), Horizon 2020 
3 Department of Environmental Science, Radboud University, Nijmegen 
The invasive bivalve species Dreissena polymorpha and Dreissena rostriformis bugensis are native to the Ponto-Caspian area (i.e., rivers basins northern of the Black sea, Caspian sea and Azov sea). In the 19th century D. polymorpha started extending its geographical range. Nowadays this species can be found throughout Europe, Eurasia and North America on hard substrates in fresh to oligohaline rivers, lakes and canals. However, since circa 20 years ago the closely related D. r. bugensis too started showing invasive behaviour, causing a dominance shift from D. polymorpha to D. r. bugensis. Although, this is a widely observed phenomenon, mechanistic understanding of displacement of D. polymorpha by D. r. bugensis is still limited. Therefore, we focused on two sites in the Rhine-Meuse river delta where both species co-occurred since 2006. We assessed the ecological interactions within these mixed populations on fouling plates 3, 6 and 12 months after settlement.This may shed more light on the mechanistic understanding of the displacement of D. polymorpha by D. r. bugensis at other sites.