Options for the control of Dikerogammarus villosus (killer shrimp) and other invasive amphipods: Invasive Amphipod Control

Louisa Wood, Emily Smith, Jamie Bojko, Paul Stebbing

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Aquatic invasions are a major ecological and socio-economic concern. Management of invasive aquatic populations requires a robust understanding of the effectiveness and suitability of control methods. In this review, we consider multiple control options for the management of invasive aquatic amphipods, exploring their efficacy and application constraints. Technological opportunities (pheromone, RNAi, biotechnologies) and gaps in our understanding around control mechanisms are identified, with the aim to improve management success of this order. Within this review, the UK invasion of the killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus (Sowinsky, 1894) is used as a case study of the best explored example of invasive amphipod control. This species has had a range of ecological, physiological, pathological, and experimental research conducted upon it, which is highlighted from a management perspective. This same data, where available, has been synthesised for 46 other invasive amphipods, to probe for weaknesses that future management methods can exploit and be developed around. Successful management examples for invasive amphipod species remain rare. A lack of currently available tested options severely limits the possibility for amphipod management, post establishment. For future management to be successful, further work is needed to develop targeted and specific control methods, which ideally, are cost effective, have no/little associated ecological impacts, and can be broadly applied in closed and open water systems. Our synthesis presents opportunities for the further, informed development of control systems for invasive amphipods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement of Biological Invasions
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2021


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