News

Alien water frog taxon in Poland

2017-06-14

Recent molecular studies into the Pelophylax esculentus complex, carried out in the Barycz river drainage system (SW Poland), detected the occurrence the Balkan water frog Pelophylax kurtmuelleri genotype.

Presence of this species may result from intentional release or unintentional introduction with restocking material imported from the Balkans. It can also be due to the persistence of ancestral polymorphism in central European P. ridibundus. Alternatively, P. kurtmuelleri and P. ridibundus could have hybridised in the Balkans, which was followed by the northward expansion of admixed individuals of the latter species. Genetic identity of haplotypes found in Poland with those occurring on the borders between Greece, Albania and Macedonia, suggests that this was the source region for population of the Balkan water frog in Poland. The article presenting the results of the study was published in Amphibia-Reptilia.

Alien species at the Euromal Congress, Kraków, Poland, September 2017

2017-03-16

Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered to be one of the most serious drivers of global biodiversity change, including extinction of native species. They also incur significant economic losses, negatively affect socio-cultural values and put human health and lives at risk. However, the full scale of the problem has only been recognised a few decades ago. This resulted into rapid increase in the number of studies on the causes and consequences of IAS introductions. Still, despite the growing interest and knowledge on the problem, and regardless of recent advancements at national and international regulatory and non-regulatory frameworks, the IAS problem has not been effectively addressed yet.

Infamous representatives of IAS can be found across all taxa, and molluscs are by no means an exception. Gastropods and bivalves have particularly bad reputation in this respect. The IUCN's selection of the 100 worst global IAS includes 6 molluscs and DAISIE lists 11 molluscs among 100 worst European IAS.

We propose to meet in September 2017 in Kraków, Poland, at the 8th Congresses of the European Malacological Societies (Euromal), and discuss the most important issues on the reasons and consequences of mollusc invasions in order to identify threats, main mechanisms of impact and find remedies.

The general aim of the meeting would be to identify and focus research on strategic directions and to answer (or at least begin a discussion) some of the following questions: How to reliably distinguish between an alien and native species? What makes a small fraction of alien species introduced into a new area so harmful, while most of them are not? Will the climate change exacerbate or mitigate the problem? What are the mechanisms of alien species impact? How should this impact be measured? Please join us in always sunny Gold Polish Autumn in Kraków, for both work and pleasure in September 2017!

For further details please visit Euromal website.

Best regards,

Ronaldo Sousa, Wojciech Solarz

Tadeusz Zając, Chairman of the Organizing Committee