Bugs 2 rescue - Citizen Science 2019: De zoektocht naar natuurlijke vijanden voor het beheer van invasieve uitheemse waterplanten.

Project Details


Due to global trade the number of alien species has exponentially
increased, a trend that is especially evident in aquatic ecosystems.
To date, more than 400 alien aquatic and semi-aquatic plant species for aquarium or pond purposes are in trade in Europe causing a diverse impact on aquatic biodiversity. Belgium is the fourth most invaded country with 26 alien aquatic plants. In the “Bugs 2 the rescue” project, youth and nature volunteers work together with scientists to halt the spread of specific invasive exotic aquatic plants.
They take a closer look at the morphological characteristics of certain invasive aquatic plants and initiate a search for their natural enemies by means of standardized vegetation and insect surveys. The use of these natural enemies (mainly herbivorous insects) to reduce the abundance of an invasive species is called “biological control”. This method is considered an nvironmentally friendly and cost effective alternative to the management of invasive aquatic plants.
At the moment, however, there are too many exotic aquatic plants, too few scientists and too few data available for a successful application of this method. That is why the help of citizens is sought.By means of workshops and the necessary monitoring material, citizens are provided with everything necessary to work as a scientist in the field.
With this project we want to take a crucial step forward to strengthen our knowledge of invasive aquatic plants and their natural enemies and to implement a biological control program in the long term..
Effective start/end date1/02/2031/01/23


  • Teacher education

Flemish discipline codes

  • Invasion biology