An exotic shrimp makes its home in the Oder River

Originally from Southeast Asia, the freshwater shrimp has established itself in the. Oder. Most likely, a dozen years ago, shrimp belonging to this species were released into the river by a breeder.

Experts warn that colonization of Polish rivers or lakes by exotic species is harmful and dangerous for the entire ecosystemsów. Alien species, once acclimatized to their new environment, can begin to invade Polish natural waters – emphasizes Dr. Aleksandra Jablonska of the Department of Invertebrate Zoologyóin and Hydrobiology of the University of Lówild.

Freshwater shrimp Neocaridina davidi Of the Atyidae family, it is native to Southeast Asia. At the same time, it is a species often kept in amateur aquariums.

To date, many of its color varieties have been successfully bred, and the red variety „Red Cherry” is one of the best known and most often chosen by aquaristsów.

Recently, the presence of this shrimp has been confirmed in the lower Oder River, specifically in the canal to which theórego are discharged heated water from a power plant in Gryfino, 25 km from Szczecin.

According to Dr. Jablonska, the population of this shrimp has persisted here since at least 2003. Most likely, shrimp belonging to this species have been released into the wód of the Oder River by an aquarium keeper. In the warm canal they have found favorable conditions to live and reproduce.

– Such a scenario is confirmed by the conducted studies of mitochondrial DNA, whichóre showed that shrimp found in the lower Oder River over several years and shrimp próbnie taken from an aquarium in central Poland, not róThey are genetically different from each other,” the biologist explained.

According to the expert, releasing animals from aquariumsów to wód natural in Poland is, unfortunately, a fairly common phenomenon, and farmed shrimp in the Oder River is not an isolated case. As she stressed, breeders – Amateurs often think that such behavior is „humane” in relation to already unwanted animals, but it is dangerous for the entire ecosystem of theów.

Most released animals don’t survive the winter. Coming from an areaów with warmer climates and released into the natural wód of the temperate zone have no chance. However, it is different if exotic animals get into the wód with altered conditions, e.g. by letting the sewageóin thermal, that is, inód heated from industry.

– Environmental conditions in the temperate zone are also changing due to the following warming of the climate. In addition, water systems are sometimes connected to each other by canals. In this situation, foreign species, once acclimatized to their new environment, can begin to invade further wód,” stressed Dr. Jablonska.

This makes it possible that in someórivers or lakes can sometimes encounter exotic fish such as armorfish and even piranhas.

Dr. Aleksandra Jablonska emphasizes that settlement in theód temperate climate by exotic species is harmful and dangerous to the entire ecosystemóin By increasing predator pressureóIn on the natural fauna and even the introduction of new pathogensóin and chorób into the environment.

– The public should therefore be informed and educated about the dangers of introducing species ofów alien to the wód natural,” concluded the expert from the University of Lodz.

Sourceóbackground: PAP – Science in Poland, Kamil Szubanski, photo. CC BY-SA 2.0/ DirkBlankenhaus/ Wikimedia Commons