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Marjolein Messiaen, Koen Lock, Wim Gabriels, Thierry Vercauteren, Karel Wouters, Pieter Boets, and Peter Goethals (2010)

Alien macrocrustaceans in freshwater ecosystems in the eastern part of Flanders (Belgium)


Biological invasions of freshwater macroinvertebrates are gaining more and more interest because the ecological and economical impact of some of these species is high. Since crustacean taxa appear to be successful groups invading new areas, an inventory of the macrocrustaceans in Flanders was made. At least 22 freshwater macrocrustacean species have been reported from Flemish water bodies. A detailed study of six canals, one small artificial watercourse and one natural river in the eastern part of Flanders revealed that invaders such as Dikerogammarus villosus, Gammarus tigrinus and Chelicorophium curvispinum are already quite common. Especially D. villosus is currently rapidly expanding and has a serious impact on native and other exotic gammarid species. Based on observations in neighbouring countries, several additional species are expected to arrive in the near future. A follow-up of the alien species together with a monitoring scheme to detect new incoming species is valuable to estimate the size of the problem and to be able to closely follow their ecological and economical impact.

Chelicorophium curvispinum; Dikerogammarus villosus; exotic species; Gammarus tigrinus; macroinvertebrates
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


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Belgian Journal of Zoology