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Evaluating the potential of ecological niche modelling as a component in marine non-indigenous species risk assessments

Leidenberger, Sonja, Obst, Mattias, Kulawik, Robert, Stelzer, Kerstin, Heyer, Karin, Hardisty, Alex and Bourlat, Sarah J. 2015. Evaluating the potential of ecological niche modelling as a component in marine non-indigenous species risk assessments. Marine Pollution Bulletin 97 (1-2) , pp. 470-487. 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.04.033

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Marine biological invasions have increased with the development of global trading, causing the homogenization of communities and the decline of biodiversity. A main vector is ballast water exchange from shipping. This study evaluates the use of ecological niche modelling (ENM) to predict the spread of 18 non-indigenous species (NIS) along shipping routes and their potential habitat suitability (hot/cold spots) in the Baltic Sea and Northeast Atlantic. Results show that, contrary to current risk assessment methods, temperature and sea ice concentration determine habitat suitability for 61% of species, rather than salinity (11%). We show high habitat suitability for NIS in the Skagerrak and Kattegat, a transitional area for NIS entering or leaving the Baltic Sea. As many cases of NIS introduction in the marine environment are associated with shipping pathways, we explore how ENM can be used to provide valuable information on the potential spread of NIS for ballast water risk assessment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Q Science > QH Natural history
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ballast water; Ecological niche modelling; Non-indigenous species; Risk assessment; Shipping routes; Species distribution, biodiversity, ecology, workflow, informatics
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0025-326X
Funders: EC FP7, grant agreement no. 283359
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 25 February 2015
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 10:46

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