Forecasting spread and bioeconomic impacts of aquatic invasive species from multiple pathways to improve management and policy in the Great Lakes

  • Funded By: NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research
  • ECI Investigators: David Lodge
  • Partners: Management Transition Board, The Nature Conservancy

 Forecasting spread and bioeconomic impacts of aquatic invasive species from multiple pathways to improve management and policy in the Great Lakes

Over the last six years, this interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research team has worked to forecast species invasions and their costs, and to predict the effectiveness and costs of potential management responses to these invasions. Many established invasive species have already caused great damage in the Great Lakes.  Forecasts can help identify those areas that are more vulnerable to invasion, which will in turn help resource managers more effectively monitor and prevent new invasions.  Knowing the potential costs of invasions will also help managers evaluate the value of strategies to prevent, eradicate, or control new invaders against the cost of doing nothing. 

The research team has combined scientific, economic, and risk analysis, along with management expertise, to increase forecasting capabilities for both the ecological and economic impact of current and future species invasions on the Great Lakes ecosystem goods and services.

In collaboration with management agencies and regional leaders, the team forecasts a range of scenarios to inform management about choices for developing cost effective prevention, “early detection and rapid response,” “slow-the-spread,” and other control strategies for aquatic invasive species.  By integrating ecology and economics at the landscape scale, researchers will be able to communicate forecasts in terms of aquatic invasive species introduction pathways, which are the most appropriate targets for cost effective management, especially in preventing new invasions.

 

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