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Environment: Pooling information to combat the threat of alien species in Europe
Date:9/14/2012

can view and map the distribution of alien species in Europe and select them using criteria ranging from the environment in which they are found (terrestrial, marine or fresh water) and their biological classification through to the pathways of their introduction.

At the heart of EASIN is a catalogue that currently contains over 16 000 species. This inventory of all reported alien species in Europe was produced by compiling, checking and standardising the information available online and in scientific literature. Users of EASIN can explore and map geo-referenced information on alien species from the following online databases: the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the Global Invasive Species Information Network (GISIN) and the Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre (REABIC). Further data providers will be included over the coming years. The EASIN web tools and services follow internationally recognised standards and protocols. They are free for use, while the data ownership remains with the source, which is properly cited and linked to in EASIN.

Next Steps

Combating invasive alien species is one of the six key objectives of the EU 2020 Biodiversity Strategy, and the Commission is preparing specific proposals for strengthening legislation in this area.

Background

Alien species are present in almost every ecosystem type on Earth. In some cases they have become invasive, affecting native biota. They belong to all major taxonomic groups, including viruses, fungi, algae, mosses, ferns, higher plants, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Invasive alien species can transform the structure and species composition of ecosystems by repressing or excluding native species, either directly by predation or competing with them for resources or indirectly by modifying habitats or changing the way nutrients are cycled through the system. The cost to human health includes the s
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Contact: Elena Gonzalez Verdesoto
jrc-press@ec.europa.eu
European Commission Joint Research Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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