Monster Seminar JAM - Smart prevention of invasive species in aquatic ecosystems
Dr. Julian D. Olden, University of Washington
Humans have a penchant for introducing species to areas beyond their native geographic distributions, giving the potential for these non-indigenous species to become biological invaders. The spread of invasive species across the world is rampant, representing a leading threat to biodiversity and causing tremendous ecological and evolutionary damage ranging from the extinction of native species to alteration of ecosystem processes. In recent years, government bodies ranging from local to federal have been attempting to design management strategies to reduce the environmental, economic, and human health impacts of invasive species. The task is daunting: the landscapes requiring management are vast, multiple invasive species often threaten an environment, and funding and other resources for invasive species management are severely limited. A central challenge of ecologists is to provide specific guidance as to the where, what, and when of invasive species management efforts. In this seminar I present a management framework entitled smart prevention, whereby ecological forecasting is used to predict species invasions and assess biological vulnerability on heterogeneous landscapes. I illustrate this framework for a number of nuisance freshwater invaders in North America smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax), rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus), zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), Chinese mystery snail (Viviparus malleatus) and Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) by coupling results from both observational studies and experiments examining species invasions and their impacts from local to regional scales. The implementation of the smart prevention framework will support more informed decisions by resource managers about how to allocate aquatic invasive species management efforts among sites, invaders, and activities, so as to provide the greatest benefit in terms of reducing impacts. More broadly, the continued development of preventive approaches is part of a broader transformation of invasion biology, from a descriptive science, to a normative science capable of guiding the efforts of resource managers.
University of Washington
The Old Fisheries Center Auditorium (rm 201)
Date and Time:
February 8, 2007,
11:00 am - 12:30 pm