Chucholl C. 2014. Predicting the risk of introduction and establishment of an exotic aquarium animal in Europe: insights from one decade of Marmorkrebs (Crustacea, Astacida, Cambaridae) releases. Management of Biological Invasions 5(4): 309-318. http://dx.doi.org/10.3391/mbi.2014.5.4.01
The presence of the North American Marmorkrebs (Procambarus fallax f. virginalis) in European inland waters is entirely driven by ongoing propagule pressure from the ornamental trade. Since 2003 at least 25 independent introduction events have been confirmed, of which some have eventually resulted in established populations. This study links a maximum-entropy model that forecasts the probability of Marmorkrebs introduction based on socio-economic predictors to an updated species distribution model based on environmental predictors in order to explore the risk of further Marmorkrebs establishment in Europe. In line with related research, the probability of Marmorkrebs release was largely affected by gross domestic product and human population density, i.e. predictors very likely related to the density of Marmorkrebs owners, whereas environmental suitability was mostly influenced by minimum temperature and the availability of lentic habitats, which was indirectly assessed by terrain slope. While considerable parts of Europe were predicted as potentially suitable for establishment, high probabilities of introduction were forecasted in much smaller geographic areas. The consensus map of the model predictions suggests that introduction and subsequent establishment of Marmorkrebs is likely to occur in much of Germany, the Benelux countries, England, Italy, and areas of high human population density throughout France and Spain, as well as parts of southernmost Scandinavia and Southeastern Europe. Monitoring trades of Marmorkrebs in these high-risk regions is recommended and implications for proactive measures are discussed, including the need for consistent trade regulations at the EU level.
Keywords: marbled crayfish • propagule pressure • risk assessment • ornamental trade • introduction pathway