Wolfgang Nentwig: Alien and Invasive Species: Enrichment or Threat?

7. 12. 2017, University Campus Bohunice

About the lecture

Species from outside of Europe and transferred to Europe within the last 500 years, are called alien to Europe. About 10’000 animal and plant species could establish in Europe and are recorded as alien. The main motor of the still increasing number of alien species is globalization with its continuous transport of people and goods all over the world. When an alien population grows and spreads, it can interfere with native species in many ways, e.g. by competition, hybridization or replacement. Often aliens introduce parasites or pathogens to which they are immune; however a close relative native is not. Alien species may alter the composition of communities and of ecosystem functions. Besides such environmental impact, aliens may also have a strong economic impact. When an alien species has such a strong negative impact on the native biodiversity, it is called invasive species. They are no enrichment but a threat to our native biodiversity. It is shown how the impact of invasive species can be quantified and it is also discussed how their impact can be reduced.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Nentwig

Universty of Bern, Switzerland

  • Ecology of the agricultural landscape (set aside, ecological compensation areas, renewable resource plants);
  • Ecology of invasive species, biological control of pests and weeds (e.g. projects on slugs, Cirsium arvense, Heracleum mantegazzianum, Impatiens glandulifera), impact and risk assessment protocols, early warning system;
  • Ecology and non-target-effects of transgenic plants (oilseed rape, corn, wheat);
  • Ecology of spiders (biochemistry and ecology of spider venom, macroecology of spiders, European spider identification key, spider systematics, barcoding, World Spider Catalog).
  • Virtual Institute of Spider Taxonomic Research.