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Projects / Programmes source: ARRS

Invazivnost tujerodnih vrst potočnih rakov ter njihov vpliv na avtohtone vrste v Sloveniji (Slovene)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
1.03.03  Natural sciences and mathematics  Biology  Ecosystems 

Code Science Field
1.06  Natural Sciences  Biological sciences 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publications
1.  05221  PhD Anton Brancelj  Biology  Principal Researcher  2009 - 2012  591 
2.  26009  PhD Damijan Denac  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  322 
3.  04272  PhD Vlasta Jenčič  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2009 - 2012  431 
4.  18341  Andreja Jerebic    Technician  2009 - 2012  24 
5.  28001  Andrej Kapla    Technician  2009 - 2012  173 
6.  24296  PhD Darja Kušar  Veterinarian medicine  Researcher  2010  179 
7.  15129  PhD Tatjana Simčič  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  160 
8.  21502  PhD Al Vrezec  Biology  Researcher  2009 - 2012  999 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publications
1.  0105  National Institute of Biology  Ljubljana  5055784  13,175 
2.  0406  University of Ljubljana, Veterinary Faculty  Ljubljana  1627139  9,712 
Significance for science
Results of this project opened some new study perspectives of alien species issues. To predict how certain alien species populations introduced into the new environment will establish or even become invasive is extremely difficult task due to complex abiotic and biotic influences. This influences actually determine why certain aliens will become invasive in some environments but not in the others. The concept of fundamental niche is therefore essential to estimate species potentials that can be realized in certain environment. We have shown that methods on measuring physiological responses of species in abiotic parameters gradients could be extensively used in these issues. In the case of non-indigenous crayfish species we have developed effective and non-lethal methods of measuring physiological fitness of studied species in terms of responses to temperature and aquatic (aquatic/terrestrial) environmental gradients. This method opens possibilities of new studies on fundamental niche of crayfish and other predominantly aquatic animals in the wild and in the laboratory. Comparisons of fundamental niches of indigenous and non-indigenous species could reveal invasive potentials of later after introductions into new environment. The project delivered also new concepts in studies of distribution of crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci using molecular detection methods. Most of the studies regarding detection of Aphanomyces astaci in the wild were focused of pathogen detection after mass mortality of indigenous species and in introduced and resistant non-indigenous species, which act as pathogen vectors. Our study obtained much wider approach including systematic sampling of wild indigenous and non-indigenous crayfish populations and to determine pathogen prevalence in these populations. We have found that resistance on Aphanomyces astaci is not necessary only limited to some non-indigenous, especially North American species, but was found also in some populations of indigenous crayfish species. The study has opened new perspectives of Aphanomyces astaci distribution in crayfish populations, which includes also coevolution between pathogen and host in indigenous crayfish species. For the first time we have proved that to crayfish plague agent resistant crayfish populations can be also found within genus Austropotamobius and Cherax. The hot research topic of resistance development opened with this study should be followed by future studies focusing on resistance of crayfish host on one side, and virulence decreasing in different strains of Aphanomyces astaci on the other side.
Significance for the country
This project was the first one concerning invasive alien crayfish species in Slovenia from ecological, physiological and pathological point of view. Apart new data on the distribution of native and introduced crayfish species in Slovenia, the distribution of crayfish plague agent Aphanomyces astaci in the past and present was studied, too. We established a methodology to monitoring the disease, which is on the list of O.I.E. and thus its control is obligatory. All native crayfish species are protected due to their status of endangered species according to national and international law and thus Slovenia is obligated to protect them, too. In Slovenia at the moment there is no monitoring on alien species as well as evaluation of their invasive potential. Development of methods for evaluation of their invasive potential based on ecophysiological measurements, which were developed during this project enable us to test imported crayfish. The aim is to prevent new attempts of introduction of alien species, which is crucial for protection of ecosystems and biodiversity. At the moment the system for import declarations is based on very general rules, and not quantitative evaluations, which can results in economical as well as in environmental damage. An example of such policy was a discovery of new alien species of crayfish in Slovenia during this project. Detailed knowledge on ecology of alien species is crucial for prevention their distribution, eradication measurements and prevention of economical and other types of damage in environment.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2009, 2010, 2011, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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