Consistency of impact assessment protocols for non-native species

González-Moreno, Pablo
Lazzaro, Lorenzo
Vilà, Montserrat
Preda, Cristina
Adriaens, Tim
Bacher, Sven
Brundu, Giuseppe
Copp, Gordon H.
Essl, Franz
Katsanevakis, Stelios
Lucy, Frances E.
Nentwig, Wolfgang
Roy, Helen E.
Srėbalienė, Greta
Talgø, Venche
Vanderhoeven, Sonia
Andjelković, Ana
Arbačiauskas, Kęstutis
Auger-Rozenber, Marie-Anne
Bae, Mi-Jung
Bariche, Michel
Boets, Pieter
Boieiro, Mário
Canning-Clode, João
Cardigos, Federico
Chartosia, Niki
Crocetta, Fabio
D'hondt, Bram
Foggi, Bruno
Follak, Swen
Gallardo, Belinda
Gammelmo, Øivind
Giakoumi, Sylvaine
Giuliani, Claudia
Guillaume, Fried
Jelaska, Lucija Šerić
Jeschke, Jonathan M.
Jover, Miquel
Juárez-Escario, Alejandro
Kalogirou, Stefanos
Kočić, Aleksandra
Kytinou, Eleni
Laverty, Ciaran
Lozano, Vanessa
Maceda-Veiga, Alberto
Marchante, Elizabete
Marchante, Hélia
Martinou, Angeliki F.
Meyer, Sandro
Minchin, Dan
Montero-Castaño, Ana
Morais, Maria Cristina
Morales-Rodriguez, Carmen
Muhthassim, Naida
Nagy, Zoltán Á.
Ogris, Nikica
Onen, Huseyin
Pergl, Jan
Puntila, Riikka
Rabitsch, Wolfgang
Ramburn, Triya Tessa
Rego, Carla
Reichenbach, Fabian
Romeralo, Carmen
Saul, Wolf-Christian
Schrader, Gritta
Sheehan, Rory
Simonović, Predrag
Skolka, Marius
Soares, António Onofre
Sundheim, Leif
Tarkan, Ali Serhan
Tomov, Rumen
Tricarico, Elena
Tsiamis, Konstantinos
Uludağ, Ahmet
Valkenburg, Johan van
Verreycken, Hugo
Vettraino, Anna Maria
Wiig, Øystein
Witzell, Johanna
Zanetta, Andrea
Kenis, Marc
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Standardized tools are needed to identify and prioritize the most harmful non-native species (NNS). A plethora of assessment protocols have been developed to evaluate the current and potential impacts of non-native species, but consistency among them has received limited attention. To estimate the consistency across impact assessment protocols, 89 specialists in biological invasions used 11 protocols to screen 57 NNS (2614 assessments). We tested if the consistency in the impact scoring across assessors, quantified as the coefficient of variation (CV), was dependent on the characteristics of the protocol, the taxonomic group and the expertise of the assessor. Mean CV across assessors was 40%, with a maximum of 223%. CV was lower for protocols with a low number of score levels, which demanded high levels of expertise, and when the assessors had greater expertise on the assessed species. The similarity among protocols with respect to the final scores was higher when the protocols considered the same impact types. We conclude that all protocols led to considerable inconsistency among assessors. In order to improve consistency, we highlight the importance of selecting assessors with high expertise, providing clear guidelines and adequate training but also deriving final decisions collaboratively by consensus ​
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