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Assessing Gaps and Needs for Invasive Species Management in a Changing Climate

Environmental Protection Agency
Global Change Research Program

Hosted by:
Environmental Law Institute

June 6, 2006
Washington, DC

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Global Change Research Program held a one-day working group meeting of scientists and managers concerning the needs and gaps related to aquatic invasive species (AIS) research and management in the context of global change. The meeting was part of an EPA-funded research project currently underway at ELI. As part of this project, ELI reviewed relevant scientific literature, gathered information on state AIS management activities, and drafted a synthesis paper that seeks to identify gaps between scientific research and management needs, especially as they relate to global change. The focus of the June meeting was to discuss these research needs and how state and regional AIS programs can adapt to and prepare for the effects of global change in their prevention, control, and eradication activities.

Mike Slimak, EPA’s Associate Director for Ecology of the National Center for Environmental Assessment, launched the meeting with a brief discussion of the EPA’s role in invasive species management and global change, and why these topics are an increasing concern for both the agency and the environmental community at large. Britta Bierwagen, the EPA project leader who has been involved with drafting the report and planning the meeting, introduced the project and outlined the meeting’s objectives. ELI’s Roxanne Thomas, Lisa Goldman, and Kathryn Mengerink moderated breakout sessions that sought to identify research needs and management gaps for invasive species management in a changing climate, solutions to address these gaps and needs, and implementation options. The participants discussed these topics as they relate to invasive species vectors and pathways; control, eradication, and restoration measures; and prevention, monitoring and early detection and rapid response. Identified research needs vary from mechanisms to better manage human vectors to methods for controlling and monitoring invasive species as climate changes. Short term management solutions include compiling lists of potential invaders, developing invasive species distribution maps, and integrating climate change effects into management strategies. Following this meeting, participants will develop papers on topics ranging from specific, innovative strategies for managing invasive species in the context of climate change to a review of models that predict species distribution based on assumptions of climate change. EPA and ELI are planning a follow-up meeting in September 2006 to review and finalize these papers and will publish the proceedings.

Meeting Materials
  • Meeting Agenda
  • Participant Biographical Information
  • Presentations
    • James Carlton, Williams College — Invasive Species: Polyvectism and Integrated Vector Management (IVM)
    • Cynthia Kolar, U.S. Geological Survey — Invasions by Freshwater Non-Indigenous Species: Interactions with Other Global Changes
      • Abstract
    • Jeffrey Dukes, University of Massachusetts — Why Should Global Environmental Changes Affect Invasive Species’ Success?
    • Robert Piorkowski, Alaska Department of Fish and Game-Commercial Fisheries —Alaska Invasive Species: Past-Present-Climate Change
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