- Geographical scale of the assessment:
- Regional, Mediterranean Sea
- Contributing countries:
- Mid-Term Strategy (MTS) Core Theme:
- 2-Biodiversity and Ecosystems
- Ecological Objective:
- EO2: Non-indigenous species introduced by human activities are at levels that do not adversely alter the ecosystem.
- IMAP Common Indicator:
- Common Indicator 6 (CI6): Trends in abundance, temporal occurrence, and spatial distribution of non-indigenous species, particularly invasive, non-indigenous species, notably in risk areas (in relation to the main vectors and pathways of spreading of such species)
- Indicator Assessment Factsheet Code:
GES Definition: Decreasing abundance of introduced NIS in risk areas.
- State: Abundance of NIS introduced by human activities reduced to levels giving no detectable impact.
- Pressure: Impacts of NIS reduced to the feasible minimum.
The trend of new introductions of alien species in the Mediterranean has been increasing. About 1000 marine alien species have been reported in the Mediterranean Sea up to now, of which more than half are considered established. Many of these species have become invasive with serious negative impacts on biodiversity, human health, and ecosystem services.
To estimate Common Indicator 6, a trend analysis (time series analysis) of the available monitoring data needs to be performed, aiming to extract the underlying pattern, which may be hidden by noise. A formal regression analysis is the recommended approach to estimate such trends. This can be done by a simple linear regression analysis or by more complicated modelling tools (when rich datasets are available), such as generalized linear or additive models. To monitor trends in temporal occurrence, two indicators are estimated on a yearly basis.
Results and Status, including trends
Among the recent studies on NIS, two basin-wide inventories of the marine alien species of the Mediterranean have been published by Zenetos et al. (2010, 2012) and Galil (2012). Furthermore, many national lists of marine NIS have been published in the scientific literature, most of them during the last decade, including Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Libya, Lebanon, Malta, Slovenia, Tunisia and Turkey.
Important progress has been made the last decade in creating inventories of non-indigenous species (NIS), and on assessing pathways of introduction and the impacts of invasive alien species on a regional scale. The development and regular updating of MAMIAS (data partner of EASIN) substantially contributes to address Common Indicator 6. SPA/RAC is establishing formal exchange of information with relevant information system (such AquaNIS) as provided for in the Mediterranean Action Plan concerning Species introduction and invasive species.
- Progress has been made in creating national and regional inventories of alien species and assessing their pathways and impacts.
- There is an increasing trend in the rate of new alien species introductions in the Mediterranean Sea.
Galil BS, 2012. Truth and consequences: the bioinvasion of the Mediterranean Sea. Integrative Zoology 7 (3): 299–311.
Katsanevakis S, Zenetos A, Belchior C, Cardoso AC, 2013. Invading European Seas: assessing pathways of introduction of marine aliens. Ocean and Coastal Management 76: 64–74.
Katsanevakis S, Tempera F, Teixeira H, 2016. Mapping the impact of alien species on marine ecosystems: the Mediterranean Sea case study. Diversity and Distributions 22: 694–707.
Nunes AL, Katsanevakis S, Zenetos A, Cardoso AC, 2014. Gateways to alien invasions in the European Seas. Aquatic Invasions 9(2): 133–144.
Zenetos A, Gofas S, Verlaque M, Çinar ME, Garcia Raso JE, et al, 2010. Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea by 2010. A contribution to the application of European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Part I. Spatial distribution. Mediterranean Marine Science 11 (2): 318–493.
Zenetos A, Gofas S, Morri C, Rosso A, Violanti D, et al, 2012. Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea by 2012. A contribution to the application of European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Part 2. Introduction trends and pathways. Mediterranean Marine Science 13(2): 328–352.
UNEP/MAP (2016). Decision IG.22/7 - Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Programme (IMAP) of the Mediterranean Sea and Coast and Related Assessment Criteria. COP19, Athens, Greece. United Nations Environment Programme, Mediterranean Action Plan, Athens.