Focus and Scope


AquaNIS Bulletin publishes papers on:

1) Records of non-indigenous, cryptogenic or range-expanding species in new recipient regions. A recipient region is a country or a country’s sub-area within a Large Marine Ecosystem1 (LME) or LME sub-region.

2) Risk assessment of species (horizon scanning) – a species profile covering its taxonomy, biological traits, environmental tolerance limits, and documented impacts on human health, economy and environment including native biodiversity and habitats.


Non-indigenous species (NIS) (synonyms: alien, exotic, non-native, allochthonous, introduced, adventive) are species, subspecies or lower taxa (such as a variety, form) introduced outside of their natural range (past or present) and outside of their natural dispersal potential by a human-mediated vector. Secondary introductions can be transported by human-mediated or natural vectors. Natural shifts in distribution ranges (e.g. due to climate change or dispersal by ocean currents) do not qualify a species as a NIS.

Cryptogenic species are such species which cannot be reliably demonstrated as being either introduced or native. In some cases, the true origin of a species remains obscure because of either insufficient taxonomic knowledge or due to a lack of records from the time they became introduced, or for other reasons.

Range-expanding species. Species gradually expanding their range in recent decades from a neighboring region where they are native due to changing environmental conditions, such as poleward extensions, without any obvious human-mediated vector being involved.

Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) is extensive areas of ocean space of approximately 200,000 km² or greater, characterized by distinct hydrographic regimes, submarine topography, productivity, and trophically dependent populations, adjacent to the continents in coastal waters where primary productivity is generally higher than in open ocean areas (