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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GLOBAL CHANGE IN SEMI-ARID RANGELANDS: ECOSYSTEM RESPONSES AND MANAGEMENT ADAPTATIONS

Location: Rangeland Resources Research

Title: Integrated assessment of biological invasions

Authors
item Ibanez, Ines -
item Diez, Jeffrey -
item Miller, Luke -
item Olden, Julian -
item Sorte, Cascade -
item Blumenthal, Dana
item Bradley, Bethany -
item D'Antonio, Carla -
item Dukes, Jeffrey -
item Early, Regan -

Submitted to: Ecological Applications
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 18, 2013
Publication Date: January 2, 2014
Citation: Ibanez, I., Diez, J., Miller, L.P., Olden, J.D., Sorte, C.J., Blumenthal, D.M., Bradley, B.A., D'Antonio, C.M., Dukes, J.S., Early, R.I. 2014. Integrated assessment of biological invasions. Ecological Applications. 24:25-37.

Interpretive Summary: Natural resource managers often want to know about the potential for invasion of specific organisms in the sites under their care. Here, we present a set of analytical tools for synthesizing different types of data to produce meaningful assessments of invasion potential that can guide management at each phase of invasion: colonization, establishment and spread. We illustrate this approach with case studies of three well-known invasive species – a vine, a marine mussel and a freshwater crayfish – under current and future climatic conditions. Results from the integrated assessments reflect the complexity of the invasion process and show that the most relevant climatic variables can have contrasting effects across habitat types. Our results also identified and quantified both bottlenecks and windows of opportunity for invasion, mainly related to human uses of the landscape, disruption of historical disturbance regimes, or flows of resources. The approach we describe provides enhanced model realism, explanatory insight and predictive power, generating information that can inform management decisions and optimize prevention and control efforts for a wide range of biological invasions.

Technical Abstract: As the main annalists of the ecological and economic impacts of invasions on ecosystems around the world, ecologists should be able to provide information that can guide management practices. Managers often want to know about the potential for invasion of specific organisms in the sites under their care. Yet, the assorted literature that could inform such forecasts is rarely integrated to do so, and further, the diverse nature of the data available complicates synthesis and quantitative prediction. Here, we present a set of analytical tools for synthesizing different levels of distributional and/or demographic data to produce meaningful assessments of invasion potential that can guide management at each phase of invasion: colonization, establishment and spread. We illustrate the utility of data-synthesis and data-model assimilation approaches with case studies of three well-known invasive species – a vine, a marine mussel and a freshwater crayfish – under current and future climatic conditions. Results from the integrated assessments reflect the complexity of the invasion process and show that the most relevant climatic variables can have contrasting effects or act at different intensities across habitat types. As a consequence, for two of the study species, climate trends will increase the likelihood of invasion in some habitats and decrease it in others. Our results identified and quantified both bottlenecks and windows of opportunity for invasion, mainly related to the role of human uses of the landscape or to disruption of the historical disturbance regimes or the flows of resources. The approach we describe provides enhanced model realism, explanatory insight and predictive power, generating information that can inform management decisions and optimize phase-specific prevention and control efforts for a wide range of biological invasions.

Last Modified: 12/22/2014
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