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Labuce Astra, Ikauniece Anda, Strāķe Solvita and Souissi Anissa

Abstract

In the brackish ecosystem of the Gulf of Riga, the calanoid copepod Eurytemora affinis is a key species, but recently a new non-indigenous species Eurytemora carolleeae was discovered in the region. In the present study, we aimed to validate the presence of E. carolleeae in the southern part of the Gulf of Riga five years after its first discovery. The study area is the closest region to the Rīga harbour — the main source of non-indigenous species arrival in the Gulf. Recent studies have predicted the possible potential of E. carolleeae invasion due to its physiological plasticity. Male and female specimens of Eurytemora were collected in spring, summer, and autumn of 2013, and analysed based on three morphological indicators. Despite the higher reproduction rate of E. carolleeae, this intrusive species does not seem to have succeeded in establishing during the five-year period after its first discovery in the Gulf of Riga, and hence does not present a threat to the native E. affinis population in the study area.