11,000 alien species have invaded Europe

November 21st, 2008 - 3:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Berlin, Nov 21 (ANI): A unique three year research project has determined that there are more than 11,000 alien species present in Europe, that have biologically invaded the continent.

Known as DAISIE (Delivering Alien Invasive Species Inventory for Europe), the research project, with more than 100 European scientists, provides new knowledge on biological invasions in Europe.

Biological invasions by alien species often result in a significant loss in the economic value, biological diversity and function of invaded ecosystems.

Alien species are plants, animals and micro-organisms that have been moved by humans to new environments outside of the range they occupy naturally.

Alien species may have a profound impact on the environment and society as they can act as vectors for new diseases, alter ecosystem processes, change biodiversity, disrupt cultural landscapes, reduce the value of land and water for human activities and cause other socio-economic consequences.

More than 11,000 alien species have been documented by DAISIE, majority of which are not harmful.

About 15 percent of these alien species cause economic damages and 15 percent cause harm to biological diversity, that is the environment, habitats and native plants, animals and micro-organisms, according to the findings of the research.

The project provides an important tool for managing the threat of biological invasion in Europe.

Information in DAISIE can be used for documenting current invasions, predicting new invasions and preventing future invasions. (ANI)

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