BioRisk 4: 27-43, doi: 10.3897/biorisk.4.60
Pathways and vectors of alien arthropods in Europe. Chapter 3
Wolfgang Rabitsch
Abstract This chapter reviews the pathways and vectors of the terrestrial alien arthropod species in Europe according to the DAISIE-database. The majority of species (1341 spp., 86%) were introduced unintentionally, whereas 218 species (14%) were introduced intentionally, almost all of these for biological control purposes. The horticultural/ornamental-pathway is by far the most important (468 spp., 29%), followed by unintentional escapees (e.g., from greenhouses, 204 spp., 13%), stored product pests (201 spp., 12%), stowaways (95 spp., 6%), forest and crop pests (90 spp. and 70 spp., 6% and 4%). For 431 species (27%), the pathway is unknown. The unaided pathway, describing leading-edge dispersal of an alien species to a new region from a donor region where it is also alien, is expected to be common for arthropods in continental Europe, although not precisely documented in the data. Selected examples are given for each pathway. The spatiotemporal signal in the relevance of pathways and vectors and implications for alien species management and policy options are also discussed. Identifying and tackling pathways is considered an important component of any strategy to reduce propagule pressure of the often small and unintentionally translocated, mega-diverse arthropods. This requires coordination and clear responsibilities for all sectors involved in policy development and for all associated stake-holders.