Ecosystem vulnerability to invasive and alien species

The LifeWatch Alien Species Virtual Research Environment (Alien Species VRE) has been built and equipped in order to developing systems that support the scientist's work for experimental researches on alien species arrival and spread into different types of ecosystems (aquatic and terrestrial).

The Alien Species VRE is an example of the types of scientific studies that researchers on biodiversity and alien species could undertake.

The goal is to obtain a list of capabilities on the topic to be shared through the LifeWatch portal with all those interested in alien and invasive species.

Rationale and Objectives

Experimental design and results

Data were collected at site level for several taxonomic group in different ecodomains (freshwater, lagoons, terrestrial and marine environments).

When necessary, data were enriched with abiotic variables (i.e. local average temperature, average precipitation amount, chlorophyll, etc.) to perform further analyses.

In order to evaluate which variables best predict the occurrence of Alien Species in a site, the dataset, aggregated by taxonomic group (the level of aggregation was not the same for the different analyses), was analysed using a GLMM (Generalized Linear Mixed Model). Mixed models are powerful and flexible and well suited for the data collected in the case study (for details of statistical analysis see the paper published).

Currently, the workflow expects as input a dataset already available in the LifeWatch Dataportal. The workflow will do some operations on the input dataset in order to perform the statistical analyses described above. As output the workflow will return tables and graphs associated to the GLMM output.

Showcase Team

Freshwaters Database manager
Angela Boggero 

Marine Database manager
Cataldo Pierri 

Transitional Waters Database manager
& Metadata manager

Ilaria Rosati

IT specialist
Nicola Fiore 

Experimental design and statistical analysis
Paolo Colangelo 

Architecture and development of Alien Species VRE components
Paolo Tagliolato 
Paolo Colangelo
Alessandro Oggioni

Data providers


The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.