Effectiveness of FISK, an Invasiveness Screening Tool for Non-Native Freshwater Fishes, to Perform Risk Identification Assessments in the Iberian Peninsula

Authors

  • David Almeida,

    1. Salmon & Freshwater Team, Cefas, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
    2. Centre for Conservation Ecology, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset, UK
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  • Filipe Ribeiro,

    1. Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
    2. Museu Nacional de História Natural e da Ciência, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
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  • Pedro M. Leunda,

    1. Gestión Ambiental de Navarra S.A., C/ Padre Adoain 219 Bajo, Navarra, España
    2. University of Navarra, School of Sciences, Department of Environmental Biology, Pamplona/Iruña, Navarra, Spain
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  • Lorenzo Vilizzi,

    1. Murray-Darling Freshwater Research Centre, Wodonga VIC 3689, Australia
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  • Gordon H. Copp

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Conservation Ecology, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset, UK
    2. University of Navarra, School of Sciences, Department of Environmental Biology, Pamplona/Iruña, Navarra, Spain
    3. Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    • Salmon & Freshwater Team, Cefas, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
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Address correspondence to Gordon H. Copp, Salmon & Freshwater Team, Cefas, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 OHT, UK; gordon.copp@cefas.co.uk.

Abstract

Risk assessments are crucial for identifying and mitigating impacts from biological invasions. The Fish Invasiveness Scoring Kit (FISK) is a risk identification (screening) tool for freshwater fishes consisting of two subject areas: biogeography/history and biology/ecology. According to the outcomes, species can be classified under particular risk categories. The aim of this study was to apply FISK to the Iberian Peninsula, a Mediterranean climate region highly important for freshwater fish conservation due to a high level of endemism. In total, 89 fish species were assessed by three independent assessors. Results from receiver operating characteristic analysis showed that FISK can discriminate reliably between noninvasive and invasive fishes for Iberia, with a threshold of 20.25, similar to those obtained in several regions around the world. Based on mean scores, no species was categorized as “low risk,” 50 species as “medium risk,” 17 as “moderately high risk,” 11 as “high risk,” and 11 as “very high risk.” The highest scoring species was goldfish Carassius auratus. Mean certainty in response was above the category “mostly certain,” ranging from tinfoil barb Barbonymus schwanenfeldii with the lowest certainty to eastern mosquitofish Gambusia holbrooki with the highest level. Pair-wise comparison showed significant differences between one assessor and the other two on mean certainty, with these two assessors showing a high coincidence rate for the species categorization. Overall, the results suggest that FISK is a useful and viable tool for assessing risks posed by non-native fish in the Iberian Peninsula and contributes to a “watch list” in this region.

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