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  • Friday, March 6, 2015
  • 1:30 PM–2:20 PM
  • Science Building 010

Invasive species on the move: Examples from the Great Lakes and Caribbean

Predicting the spread of aquatic nuisance species can aid in early detection and preventative control at early stages of an invasion. Individual species have different capabilities to spread locally through their own efforts or via natural forces such as stream flow or currents. These species can also be transported locally, regionally, and globally via anthropogenic vectors such as shipping and the live-animal trade.

I will use examples from the Laurentian Great Lakes and Caribbean to demonstrate models of spread that have been used to aid in regional management. In the Great Lakes a multi-model approach was used to determine the potential effectiveness of a suggested ballast water management technique, ballast water exchange, in preventing the further spread of Eurasian ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus). The natural spread was simulated using a 3D hydrodynamic model and then combined with a ballast water spread model to determine where ruffe may next be spread in the Great Lakes.

In the Caribbean, oceanic currents and shipping models were used to predict the spread the Asian green mussel (Perna viridis), which arrived in Trinidad and Tobago in 1990. Since this introduction, secondary spread of P. viridis has resulted in populations in Venezuela, Cuba, Jamaica and Florida. Predicting future spread of these species can aid in monitoring, early detection, and an assessment of potential damages.

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