Activities in a Natura 2000 area such as the Wadden Sea can only take place under strict regulations. Especially, when a significant negative effect on the “conservation objectives” is to be expected. One of these activities is the South-North transportation of mussel seed, since transportation of (nuisance) species is possible.
In this study, a comprehensive monitoring is carried out additional to the current monitoring which includes a shellfish dependent species inventory (SASI) and ad random big bag monitoring of the species after freshwater flushing of the shellfish during transport. Included in the comprehensive monitoring is a biodiversity assessment of species by means of the metabarcoding technology, by characterization of the living and recently non-living species composition by a molecular barcode.
The quality of the transported nuisance species, as part of propagule pressure, is measured by means of the outgrowth potential of species. Samples retrieved from the shellfish transport after freshwater flushing will be placed under controlled circumstances for outgrowth.
The number of species and the frequency of introduction are the other main factors that determine the propagule pressure. This is however in relation with the resistance of the receiving ecosystem. The resistance of the Wadden Sea is examined by selecting a specific nuisance species and introduce this species under controlled circumstances in conjunction with local Wadden Sea species.
The aim of this research is to provide input for the development of a management plan on invasive species in the Wadden Sea, specifically outgrowth potential of nuisance species after mussel transportation.