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Integrated Monitoring and Information Systems for Managing Aquatic Invasive Species in a Changing Climate

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Changes in temperature, precipitation, and other climatic drivers and sea-level rise will affect populations of existing native and non-native aquatic species and the vulnerability of aquatic environments to new invasions. Monitoring surveys provide the foundation for assessing the combined effects of climate change and invasions by providing baseline biotic and environmental conditions, although the utility of a survey depends on whether the results are quantitative or qualitative, and other design considerations. The results from a variety of monitoring programs in the United States are available in integrated biological information systems, although many include only non-native species, not native species. Besides including natives, we suggest these systems could be improved through the development of standardized methods that capture habitat and physiological requirements and link regional and national biological databases into distributed Web portals that allow drawing information from multiple sources. Combining the outputs from these biological information systems with environmental data would allow the development of ecological-niche models that predict the potential distribution or abundance of native and non-native species on the basis of current environmental conditions. Environmental projections from climate models can be used in these niche models to project changes in species distributions or abundances under altered climatic conditions and to identify potential high-risk invaders. There are, however, a number of challenges, such as uncertainties associated with projections from climate and niche models and difficulty in integrating data with different temporal and spatial granularity. Even with these uncertainties, integration of biological and environmental information systems, niche models, and climate projections would improve management of aquatic ecosystems under the dual threats of biotic invasions and climate change.
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Keywords: aquatic invasive species; aquatic invasive species monitoring; cambio climático; climate change; especies acuáticas invasoras; information systems; modelos de nicho; monitoreo de especies acuáticas invasoras; niche models; sistemas de información

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Western Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2111 SE Marine Science Drive, Newport, OR 97365, U.S.A., Email: [email protected] 2: U.S. Geological Survey, Western Fisheries Research Center, 6505 NE 65th Street, Seattle, WA 98115, U.S.A. 3: School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, University of Washington, Box 355020, Seattle, WA 98195, U.S.A. 4: Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Campus Delivery 1499, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1499, U.S.A. 5: U.S. Geological Survey, 540 North Courthouse Street, Many, LA 71449, U.S.A. 6: Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125, U.S.A. 7: Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Box 25526, Juneau, AK 99802, U.S.A. 8: Maine Department of Environmental Protection, 17 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0017, U.S.A.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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