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First Application of FISK, the Freshwater Fish Invasiveness Screening Kit, in Northern Europe: Example of Southern Finland

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Address correspondence to Riikka Puntila, Department of Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 65, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland; tel.+358400 432636; riikka.puntila@helsinki.fi.

Abstract

The climatic conditions of north temperate countries pose unique influences on the rates of invasion and the potential adverse impacts of non-native species. Methods are needed to evaluate these risks, beginning with the pre-screening of non-native species for potential invasives. Recent improvements to the Fish Invasiveness Scoring Kit (FISK) have provided a means (i.e., FISK v2) of identifying potentially invasive non-native freshwater fishes in virtually all climate zones. In this study, FISK is applied for the first time in a north temperate country, southern Finland, and calibrated to determine the appropriate threshold score for fish species that are likely to pose a high risk of being invasive in this risk assessment area. The threshold between “medium” and “high” risk was determined to be 22.5, which is slightly higher than the original threshold for the United Kingdom (i.e., 19) and that determined for a FISK application in southern Japan (19.8). This underlines the need to calibrate such decision-support tools for the different areas where they are employed. The results are evaluated in the context of current management strategies in Finland regarding non-native fishes.

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