Publications by authors named "Tim Adriaens"

14 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Prevalence of Fox Tapeworm in Invasive Muskrats in Flanders (North Belgium).

Animals (Basel) 2022 Mar 30;12(7). Epub 2022 Mar 30.

Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Wildlife Management and Invasive Species, Havenlaan 88, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

One way in which invasive alien species affect their environment is by acting as pathogen hosts. Pathogens limited by the availability of the native host species can profit from the presence of additional hosts. The muskrat () is known to act as an intermediate host for the fox tapeworm (). From 2009 to 2017, 15,402 muskrats caught in Flanders and across the border with Wallonia and France were collected and dissected with the aim of understanding the prevalence of this parasite in muskrats. Visual examination of the livers revealed 202 infected animals (1.31%). Out of the 9421 animals caught in Flanders, we found 82 individuals (0.87%) infected with . No increase in prevalence was observed during this study. All of the infected animals in Flanders were found in municipalities along the Walloon border. We did not observe a northward spread of infection from Wallonia to Flanders. We hypothesise that the low prevalence is the result of the reduced availability of intermediate hosts and the successful control programme which is keeping muskrat densities in the centre of the region at low levels and is preventing influx from other areas. Our results illustrate that muskrats are good sentinels for and regular screening can gain valuable insight into the spread of this zoonosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani12070879DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8997082PMC
March 2022

Risk Management Assessment Improves the Cost-Effectiveness of Invasive Species Prioritisation.

Biology (Basel) 2021 Dec 12;10(12). Epub 2021 Dec 12.

Modelling, Evidence and Policy Group, Natural and Environmental Sciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK.

International agreements commit nations to control or eradicate invasive alien species. The scale of this challenge exceeds available resources and so it is essential to prioritise the management of invasive alien species. Species prioritisation for management typically involves a hierarchy of processes that consider the likelihood and scale of impact (risk assessment) and the feasibility, costs and effectiveness of management (risk management). Risk assessment processes are widely used, risk management less so, but are a crucial component of resource decision making. To assess the cost-effectiveness of prioritisation, we considered 26 high-risk species considered for eradication from Great Britain (GB) with pre-existing risk assessment and risk management outputs. We extracted scores to reflect the overall risk to GB posed by the species, together with the estimated cost and the overall feasibility of eradication. We used these to consider the relative reduction in risk per unit cost when managing prioritised species based on different criteria. We showed that the cost-effectiveness of prioritisation within our sample using risk assessment scores alone, performed no better than a random ranking of the species. In contrast, prioritisation including management feasibility produced nearly two orders of magnitude improvement compared to random. We conclude that basing management actions on priorities based solely on risk assessment without considering management feasibility risks the inefficient use of limited resources. In this study, the cost-effectiveness of species prioritisation for action was greatly increased by the inclusion of risk management assessment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biology10121320DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8698869PMC
December 2021

Holistic understanding of contemporary ecosystems requires integration of data on domesticated, captive and cultivated organisms.

Biodivers Data J 2021 15;9:e65371. Epub 2021 Jun 15.

Arizona State University, Tempe, United States of America Arizona State University Tempe United States of America.

Domestic and captive animals and cultivated plants should be recognised as integral components in contemporary ecosystems. They interact with wild organisms through such mechanisms as hybridization, predation, herbivory, competition and disease transmission and, in many cases, define ecosystem properties. Nevertheless, it is widespread practice for data on domestic, captive and cultivated organisms to be excluded from biodiversity repositories, such as natural history collections. Furthermore, there is a lack of integration of data collected about biodiversity in disciplines, such as agriculture, veterinary science, epidemiology and invasion science. Discipline-specific data are often intentionally excluded from integrative databases in order to maintain the "purity" of data on natural processes. Rather than being beneficial, we argue that this practise of data exclusivity greatly limits the utility of discipline-specific data for applications ranging from agricultural pest management to invasion biology, infectious disease prevention and community ecology. This problem can be resolved by data providers using standards to indicate whether the observed organism is of wild or domestic origin and by integrating their data with other biodiversity data (e.g. in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility). Doing so will enable efforts to integrate the full panorama of biodiversity knowledge across related disciplines to tackle pressing societal questions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.9.e65371DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8219659PMC
June 2021

A checklist recipe: making species data open and FAIR.

Database (Oxford) 2020 01;2020

Meise Botanic Garden, Nieuwelaan 38, B-1860 Meise, Belgium.

Species checklists are a crucial source of information for research and policy. Unfortunately, many traditional species checklists vary wildly in their content, format, availability and maintenance. The fact that these are not open, findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) severely hampers fast and efficient information flow to policy and decision-making that are required to tackle the current biodiversity crisis. Here, we propose a reproducible, semi-automated workflow to transform traditional checklist data into a FAIR and open species registry. We showcase our workflow by applying it to the publication of the Manual of Alien Plants, a species checklist specifically developed for the Tracking Invasive Alien Species (TrIAS) project. Our approach combines source data management, reproducible data transformation to Darwin Core using R, version control, data documentation and publication to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). This checklist publication workflow is openly available for data holders and applicable to species registries varying in thematic, taxonomic or geographical scope and could serve as an important tool to open up research and strengthen environmental decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/database/baaa084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7661093PMC
January 2020

Site selection by geese in a suburban landscape.

PeerJ 2020 22;8:e9846. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Meise Botanic Garden, Meise, Vlaams Brabant, Belgium.

Background: In European and North American cities geese are among the most common and most visible large herbivores. As such, their presence and behaviour often conflict with the desires of the human residents. Fouling, noise, aggression and health concerns are all cited as reasons that there are "". Lethal control is often used for population management; however, this raises questions about whether this is a sustainable strategy to resolve the conflict between humans and geese when, paradoxically, it is humans that are responsible for creating the habitat and often providing the food and protection of geese at other times. We hypothesise that the landscaping of suburban parks can be improved to decrease its attractiveness to geese and to reduce the opportunity for conflict between geese and humans.

Methods: Using observations collected over five years from a botanic garden situated in suburban Belgium and data from the whole of Flanders in Belgium, we examined landscape features that attract geese. These included the presence of islands in lakes, the distance from water, barriers to level flight and the size of exploited areas. The birds studied were the tadornine goose (L. 1766) (Egyptian goose) and the anserine geese, (L. 1758) (Canada goose), (L. 1758) (greylag goose) and (Bechstein, 1803) (barnacle goose). Landscape modification is a known method for altering goose behaviour, but there is little information on the power of such methods with which to inform managers and planners.

Results: Our results demonstrate that lakes with islands attract more than twice as many anserine geese than lakes without islands, but make little difference to Egyptian geese. Furthermore, flight barriers between grazing areas and lakes are an effective deterrent to geese using an area for feeding. Keeping grazing areas small and surrounded by trees reduces their attractiveness to geese.

Conclusion: The results suggest that landscape design can be used successfully to reduce the number of geese and their conflict with humans. However, this approach has its limitations and would require humans to compromise on what they expect from their landscaped parks, such as open vistas, lakes, islands and closely cropped lawns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9846DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7518184PMC
September 2020

Using structured eradication feasibility assessment to prioritize the management of new and emerging invasive alien species in Europe.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Nov 27;26(11):6235-6250. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Environment Agency, UK.

Prioritizing the management of invasive alien species (IAS) is of global importance and within Europe integral to the EU IAS regulation. To prioritize management effectively, the risks posed by IAS need to be assessed, but so too does the feasibility of their management. While the risk of IAS to the EU has been assessed, the feasibility of management has not. We assessed the feasibility of eradicating 60 new (not yet established) and 35 emerging (established with limited distribution) species that pose a threat to the EU, as identified by horizon scanning. The assessment was carried out by 34 experts in invasion management from across Europe, applying the Non-Native Risk Management scheme to defined invasion scenarios and eradication strategies for each species, assessing the feasibility of eradication using seven key risk management criteria. Management priorities were identified by combining scores for risk (derived from horizon scanning) and feasibility of eradication. The results show eradication feasibility score and risk score were not correlated, indicating that risk management criteria evaluate different information than risk assessment. In all, 17 new species were identified as particularly high priorities for eradication should they establish in the future, whereas 14 emerging species were identified as priorities for eradication now. A number of species considered highest priority for eradication were terrestrial vertebrates, a group that has been the focus of a number of eradication attempts in Europe. However, eradication priorities also included a diverse range of other taxa (plants, invertebrates and fish) suggesting there is scope to broaden the taxonomic range of attempted eradication in Europe. We demonstrate that broad scale structured assessments of management feasibility can help prioritize IAS for management. Such frameworks are needed to support evidence-based decision-making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15280DOI Listing
November 2020

Invasive non-native species likely to threaten biodiversity and ecosystems in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

Glob Chang Biol 2020 Jan 13. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Medical Entomology Group, Emergency Response Science & Technology, Public Health England, Salisbury, UK.

The Antarctic is considered to be a pristine environment relative to other regions of the Earth, but it is increasingly vulnerable to invasions by marine, freshwater and terrestrial non-native species. The Antarctic Peninsula region (APR), which encompasses the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands, is by far the most invaded part of the Antarctica continent. The risk of introduction of invasive non-native species to the APR is likely to increase with predicted increases in the intensity, diversity and distribution of human activities. Parties that are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty have called for regional assessments of non-native species risk. In response, taxonomic and Antarctic experts undertook a horizon scanning exercise using expert opinion and consensus approaches to identify the species that are likely to present the highest risk to biodiversity and ecosystems within the APR over the next 10 years. One hundred and three species, currently absent in the APR, were identified as relevant for review, with 13 species identified as presenting a high risk of invading the APR. Marine invertebrates dominated the list of highest risk species, with flowering plants and terrestrial invertebrates also represented; however, vertebrate species were thought unlikely to establish in the APR within the 10 year timeframe. We recommend (a) the further development and application of biosecurity measures by all stakeholders active in the APR, including surveillance for species such as those identified during this horizon scanning exercise, and (b) use of this methodology across the other regions of Antarctica. Without the application of appropriate biosecurity measures, rates of introductions and invasions within the APR are likely to increase, resulting in negative consequences for the biodiversity of the whole continent, as introduced species establish and spread further due to climate change and increasing human activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14938DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7154743PMC
January 2020

A database of threat statuses and life-history traits of Red List species in Flanders (northern Belgium).

Biodivers Data J 2019 5;7:e34089. Epub 2019 Apr 5.

Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Brussels, Belgium Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) Brussels Belgium.

Background: Red Lists estimate the extinction risk of species at global or regional levels and are important instruments in conservation policies. Global Red List assessments are readily available via the IUCN website (https://www.iucnredlist.org) and are regularly updated by (taxonomic) experts. Regional Red Lists, however, are not always easy to find and often use local criteria to assess the local extinction risk of species.

New Information: Here, we publish a database with the outcome of 38 Red List assessments in Flanders (northern Belgium) between 1994 and 2018. In total, the database contains 6,224 records of 5,039 unique taxa pertaining to 24 different taxonomic groups. Using a quality control procedure, we evaluated the criteria used, the number of records, the temporal and spatial distribution of the data and the up-to-dateness of the Red Lists. This way, nineteen Red Lists were approved as being of sufficient high quality (i.e. validated) and nineteen others were not. Once validated, Red Lists are approved by the regional Minister of Environment and published in the Belgian Official Gazette acquiring legal status. For the validated Red Lists, we additionally compiled (life-history) traits that are applicable to a wide variety of species groups (taxonomic kingdom, environment, biotope, nutrient level, dispersal capacity, lifespan and cuddliness). The publication of this dataset allows comparison of Red List statuses with other European regions and countries and permits analyses about how certain (life-history) traits can explain the Red List status of species. The dataset will be regularly updated by adding new Red List (re)assessments and/or additional (life-history) traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.7.e34089DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6477847PMC
April 2019

Developing a list of invasive alien species likely to threaten biodiversity and ecosystems in the European Union.

Glob Chang Biol 2019 03 12;25(3):1032-1048. Epub 2018 Dec 12.

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Zoologie Forestière, UR 0633, Ardon Orleans Cedex 2, France.

The European Union (EU) has recently published its first list of invasive alien species (IAS) of EU concern to which current legislation must apply. The list comprises species known to pose great threats to biodiversity and needs to be maintained and updated. Horizon scanning is seen as critical to identify the most threatening potential IAS that do not yet occur in Europe to be subsequently risk assessed for future listing. Accordingly, we present a systematic consensus horizon scanning procedure to derive a ranked list of potential IAS likely to arrive, establish, spread and have an impact on biodiversity in the region over the next decade. The approach is unique in the continental scale examined, the breadth of taxonomic groups and environments considered, and the methods and data sources used. International experts were brought together to address five broad thematic groups of potential IAS. For each thematic group the experts first independently assembled lists of potential IAS not yet established in the EU but potentially threatening biodiversity if introduced. Experts were asked to score the species within their thematic group for their separate likelihoods of i) arrival, ii) establishment, iii) spread, and iv) magnitude of the potential negative impact on biodiversity within the EU. Experts then convened for a 2-day workshop applying consensus methods to compile a ranked list of potential IAS. From an initial working list of 329 species, a list of 66 species not yet established in the EU that were considered to be very high (8 species), high (40 species) or medium (18 species) risk species was derived. Here, we present these species highlighting the potential negative impacts and the most likely biogeographic regions to be affected by these potential IAS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14527DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7380041PMC
March 2019

Stakeholder engagement in the study and management of invasive alien species.

J Environ Manage 2019 Jan 1;229:88-101. Epub 2018 Aug 1.

Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Matieland 7602, South Africa.

Invasive alien species are a major driver of global environmental change and a range of management interventions are needed to manage their effects on biodiversity, ecosystem services, human well-being and local livelihoods. Stakeholder engagement is widely advocated to integrate diverse knowledge and perspectives in the management of invasive species and to deal with potential conflicts of interest. We reviewed the literature in the ISI Web of Science on stakeholder engagement (the process of involving stakeholders (actors) in decision making, management actions and knowledge creation) in invasion science to assess and understand what has been done (looking at approaches and methodologies used, stakeholders involved, and outcomes from engagement) and to make recommendations for future work. Research on stakeholder engagement in invasion science has increased over the last decade, helping to improve scientific knowledge and contributing towards policy formulation and co-implementation of management. However, many challenges remain and engagement could be made more effective. For example, most studies engage only one stakeholder group passively using questionnaires, primarily for assessing local knowledge and perceptions. Although useful for management and policy planning, these stakeholders are not active participants and there is no two-way flow of knowledge. To make stakeholder involvement more useful, we encourage more integrative and collaborative engagement to (1) improve co-design, co-creation and co-implementation of research and management actions; (2) promote social learning and provide feedback to stakeholders; (3) enhance collaboration and partnerships beyond the natural sciences and academia (interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration); and (4) discuss some practical and policy suggestions for improving stakeholder engagement in invasion science research and management. This will help facilitate different stakeholders to work better together, allowing problems associated with biological invasions to be tackled more holistically and successfully.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.04.044DOI Listing
January 2019

Cost-benefit analysis for invasive species control: the case of greater Canada goose in Flanders (northern Belgium).

PeerJ 2018 29;6:e4283. Epub 2018 Jan 29.

Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Brussels, Belgium.

Background: Sound decisions on control actions for established invasive alien species (IAS) require information on ecological as well as socio-economic impact of the species and of its management. Cost-benefit analysis provides part of this information, yet has received relatively little attention in the scientific literature on IAS.

Methods: We apply a bio-economic model in a cost-benefit analysis framework to greater Canada goose , an IAS with documented social, economic and ecological impacts in Flanders (northern Belgium). We compared a business as usual (BAU) scenario which involved non-coordinated hunting and egg destruction with an enhanced scenario based on a continuation of these activities but supplemented with coordinated capture of moulting birds. To assess population growth under the BAU scenario we fitted a logistic growth model to the observed pre-moult capture population. Projected damage costs included water eutrophication and damage to cultivated grasslands and were calculated for all scenarios. Management costs of the moult captures were based on a representative average of the actual cost of planning and executing moult captures.

Results: Comparing the scenarios with different capture rates, different costs for eutrophication and various discount rates, showed avoided damage costs were in the range of 21.15 M€ to 45.82 M€ under the moult capture scenario. The lowest value for the avoided costs applied to the scenario where we lowered the capture rate by 10%. The highest value occurred in the scenario where we lowered the real discount rate from 4% to 2.5%.

Discussion: The reduction in damage costs always outweighed the additional management costs of moult captures. Therefore, additional coordinated moult captures could be applied to limit the negative economic impact of greater Canada goose at a regional scale. We further discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our approach and its potential application to other IAS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4283DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793711PMC
January 2018

The large-scale removal of mammalian invasive alien species in Northern Europe.

Pest Manag Sci 2017 Feb 9;73(2):273-279. Epub 2016 Feb 9.

Animal and Plant Health Agency, Sand Hutton, York, UK.

Numerous examples exist of successful mammalian invasive alien species (IAS) eradications from small islands (<10 km ), but few from more extensive areas. We review 15 large-scale removals (mean area 2627 km ) from Northern Europe since 1900, including edible dormouse, muskrat, coypu, Himalayan porcupine, Pallas' and grey squirrels and American mink, each primarily based on daily checking of static traps. Objectives included true eradication or complete removal to a buffer zone, as distinct from other programmes that involved local control to limit damage or spread. Twelve eradication/removal programmes (80%) were successful. Cost increased with and was best predicted by area, while the cost per unit area decreased; the number of individual animals removed did not add significantly to the model. Doubling the area controlled reduced cost per unit area by 10%, but there was no evidence that cost effectiveness had increased through time. Compared with small islands, larger-scale programmes followed similar patterns of effort in relation to area. However, they brought challenges when defining boundaries and consequent uncertainties around costs, the definition of their objectives, confirmation of success and different considerations for managing recolonisation. Novel technologies or increased use of volunteers may reduce costs. Rapid response to new incursions is recommended as best practice rather than large-scale control to reduce the environmental, financial and welfare costs. © 2016 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ps.4224DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5248632PMC
February 2017

The novel 'Candidatus Amphibiichlamydia ranarum' is highly prevalent in invasive exotic bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus).

Environ Microbiol Rep 2013 Feb 6;5(1):105-8. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Ghent University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Merelbeke, Belgium.

Knowledge concerning microbial infectious diseases in the current amphibian crisis is rudimentary and largely limited to ranavirosis and chytridiomycosis. The family Chlamydiaceae is gaining attention as a common cause of disease in amphibians and may harbour new and emerging amphibian pathogens. We identified a novel species of Chlamydiales (Candidatus Amphibiichlamydia ranarum) with a prevalence of 71% in exotic invasive bullfrog tadpoles (Lithobates catesbeianus) from an introduced population in the Netherlands. The sequence of a 1474 bp 16S rRNA gene fragment showed that the novel taxon forms a well-defined clade with 'Candidatus Amphibiichlamydia salamandrae' within the Chlamydiaceae family. Although none of the tadpoles examined showed signs of clinical disease, urgent evaluation of its pathogenic potential for native amphibian species is required.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1758-2229.2012.00359.xDOI Listing
February 2013
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