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Keywords:

  • environmental management;
  • invasive species;
  • Mediterranean streams;
  • risk analysis;
  • watch lists

Summary

1. Preventing the introduction of species likely to become invaders is the best management option to deal with biological invasions. A data set consisting of native, introduced and species not currently present in Iberian Peninsula (n = 167 species) was used to identify freshwater fish species that are likely to be introduced and become successful invaders in the near future.

2. Principal component analysis (PCA) of species traits was used to determine species likely to be introduced, assuming that the traits of species introduced in the future will resemble those of previously introduced species. The likelihood of introduction was calculated as the proportion of neighbour species (in the space defined by the PCA) that have been introduced to the Iberian Peninsula and, together with metrics related to different stages of invasion, was used to construct a region-specific risk index (Iberian risk index).

3. Introduced species had higher index values compared with native species or species currently absent from the region. The Iberian risk index was positively related to the results of an independent risk analysis for freshwater fish as well as to the geographical spread of species previously introduced to the Iberian Peninsula.

4. Iberian risk index values were used to establish a cut-off value for estimating the probability of a successful invasion. This threshold value was used to construct a list of 20 species to be included in a ‘watch list’ to prevent freshwater fish invasions in the Iberian Peninsula.