Economic costs of invasive aquatic crustaceans

Despite voluminous literature identifying the impacts of invasive species of organisms, summaries of their monetary costs remain often limited for many taxonomic groups. Invasive aquatic crustaceans are such a case. Using the InvaCost database, we quantified and analysed reported costs associated with this animal group. Invasive crayfish caused US$ 120.5 million in reported costs just in 2000–2020. These costs were unevenly distributed across countries, with a strong bias towards European economies (US$ 116.4 million; mainly due to the signal crayfish in Sweden), followed by costs reported from North America and Asia. The costs of invasive crayfish have increased considerably over the past two decades, averaging US$ 5.7 million per year. Invasive crabs have caused costs of US$ 150.2 million since 1960 (57% in North America and 42% in Europe). Damage-related costs dominated both crayfish (80%) and crabs (99%), with management costs often very low. Reported costs for invasive amphipods (US$ 178.8 thousand) and lobsters (US$ 44.6 thousand) were considerably lower.

Overall, these costs remain vastly underestimated considering the gaps in reporting at taxonomic (already recognised invasive species with no reported costs), geographic (widely invaded regions without costs), and temporal scales (most of the costs occurring in the 21st century despite often longer introduction histories). Therefore, better reporting is needed to assess better the true magnitude of monetary costs caused by invasive aquatic crustaceans.

Detailed information can be found in the original article: Kouba, A., Oficialdegui, F.J., Cuthbert, R.N., Kourantidou, M., South, J., Tricarico, E., Gozlan, R.E., Courchamp, F., Haubrock, P.J., 2022. Identifying economic costs and knowledge gaps of invasive aquatic crustaceans. Science of the Total Environment 813: 152325.




Written by: doc. Ing. Antonín Kouba, Ph.D.

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