Wednesday, 10 December 2014

GB Non-native Species Information Portal: cumenting the arrival of non-native species in Britain - via Herp Digest

Print - December 2014, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 2495-2505
Online Date: Apr 5, 2014

Author Affiliations
  • 1. Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB, UK
  • 2. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU, UK
  • 3. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Plymouth, UK
  • 4. Botanical Society of the British Isles, 97 Dragon Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5DG, UK
  • 5. Department of Biology, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, UK
  • 6. Non-Native Species Secretariat, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, UK


Information on non-native species (NNS) is often scattered among a multitude of sources, such as regional and national databases, peer-reviewed and grey literature, unpublished research projects, institutional datasets and with taxonomic experts. Here we report on the development of a database designed for the collation of information in Britain. The project involved working with volunteer experts to populate a database of NNS (hereafter called “the species register”). Each species occupies a row within the database with information on aspects of the species’ biology such as environment (marine, freshwater, terrestrial etc.), functional type (predator, parasite etc.), habitats occupied in the invaded range (using EUNIS classification), invasion pathways, establishment status in Britain and impacts. The information is delivered through the Great Britain Non-Native Species Information Portal hosted by the Non-Native Species Secretariat. By the end of 2011 there were 1958 established NNS in Britain. There has been a dramatic increase over time in the rate of NNS arriving in Britain and those becoming established. The majority of established NNS are higher plants (1,376 species). Insects are the next most numerous group (344 species) followed by non-insect invertebrates (158 species), vertebrates (50 species), algae (24 species) and lower plants (6 species). Inventories of NNS are seen as an essential tool in the management of biological invasions. The use of such lists is diverse and far-reaching. However, the increasing number of new arrivals highlights both the dynamic nature of invasions and the importance of updating NNS inventories.e

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