Non-native species introduced into Europe, whether by accident or deliberately, can be of policy concern. As a consequence of their presence, ecosystems can be disrupted, crops and livestock can be affected, and vector-borne diseases or parasites might be introduced. Non-native species causing such adverse effects are called Invasive Alien Species (IAS). In order to protect native biodiversity and ecosystems, and to mitigate the potential impact on human health and socio-economic activities, the issue of IAS is tackled in Europe by a EU Regulation (2016/1141), which provides for a set of measures to be taken across all member states.
In order to implement the proposed actions, accurate species identifications are required. Since morphology-based species identifications are not always possible (e.g. cryptic species, trace material, early life-stages), BopCo evaluates the usefulness of publicly available DNA sequence data to reliably identify the plant and animal species included in the "list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern". The results of these evaluations are presented as factsheets (one per IAS) compiled using publicly available DNA sequence data and information aggregated from various sources. Each factsheet consists of two parts:
- a short introduction to the specific IAS, compiling information on its classification, as well as its native and invasive distribution;
- an investigation with respect to the usefulness of publicly available DNA sequences to identify this IAS using DNA barcoding.
The BopCo factsheets aim to inform policy makers and provide relevant authorities with an identification and detection tool for the verification of suspected IAS samples.
For further information about the applied approach and details on the materials and methods utilised, please consult the document “Identifying IAS based on DNA barcoding using currently available sequence data: details on applied material and methods” here. For more information concerning the factsheets or how to send samples for analyses, please contact BopCo directly.
Currently the factsheets only cover the plant and animal species listed in the original regulation (2016/1141) and the first update (2017/1263). Clicking on the pdf-icon will give access to the factsheet compiled by BopCo.
Click here for factsheets of Invasive Flatworm species in Europe.
Please use the following citations:
- For the IAS web page as a whole
Barcoding Facility for Organisms and Tissues of Policy Concern, 2019. Invasive Alien Species (IAS) factsheets. BopCo, Belgium. Available from: www.bopco.myspecies.info/content/invasive-alien-species-ias-factsheets, accessed on DD-MM-YYYY.
- For an individual factsheet
See at the end of each factsheet.