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Climate Change & Invaders: Sources of Uncertainty in Managing the Great Lakes Region

Climate Change & Invaders: Sources of Uncertainty in Managing the Great Lakes Region

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Climate Change & Invaders: Sources of Uncertainty in Managing the Great Lakes Region

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  1. Climate Change & Invaders: Sources of Uncertainty in Managing the Great Lakes Region Cindy Kolar Science Advisor, Fisheries Program USGS – Reston, VA

  2. Drivers of Ecosystem Change Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis. Island Press, Washington, DC.

  3. What are Invasive Species? • Executive Order 13112 (1999): • "Invasive species" means an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. • "Alien species" means, with respect to a particular ecosystem, any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that ecosystem.

  4. Sea Lamprey (Petromyzonmarinus) Figure: USGS Photo: USFWS • Decimated native fishes • High annual cost of control: currently $22 million/year Photo: USFWS

  5. Zebra& Quagga Mussels (Dreissenasp.) Photo: USGS • Dramatic impacts on ecosystem • Clog water intakes at a cost of $3billion/yr (Pimentel et al. 1999)

  6. Purple loosestrife (Lythrumsalicaria) Photo: USGS • Decrease biodiversity of invertebrates • Decreased native plant biomass Photo: Byrd, Mississippi State University,

  7. PREVENT ERADICATE Establishment CONTROL Negative Effects Process of Species Spread Within native range Transportation Introduction

  8. Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region Kling, G.W., K. Hayhoe, L.B. Johnson, J.J. Magnuson, S. Polasky, S.K. Robinson, B.J. Shuter, M.M. Wander, D.J. Wuebbles, D.R. Zak, R.L. Lindroth, S.C. Moser, and M.L. Wilson (2003). Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region: Impacts on our Communities and Ecosystems. Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Ecological Society of America, Washington, D.C.

  9. Climate Change: Temperature Increases • In the Great Lakes, seeing fewer days below freezing • Water is warming twice as fast as air Kling et al. (2003)

  10. Temperature Increases and Trade • Commercial shipping historically an important vector for introducing invasive species in the Great Lakes • Decreased ice cover will open additional shipping routes • Allow for faster and potentially more sea voyages • Could improve survivorship of organisms associated with ships

  11. Other Expected Climate Changes in the Great Lakes • Changes in water and air temperature, water depth, velocity, and timing • Changes in hydrologic and fire regimes (increase in precipitation and storms) • Longer growing season – longer period of stratification • Shorter winter

  12. Result of Changing Climate • All act to alter habitat suitability for plants and animals, native and nonnative • Shifts in community composition • Range changes of native and nonnative species • Some nonnative species may become invasive • ‘Winners’ and ‘losers’ will emerge

  13. Invasive Species and Climate Change • Establishment of additional species • Established nonnative species may become invasive • Impact of existing invasive species may change • Distribution of existing invasive species

  14. Predicting Range Shifts Burmese Pythons Rodda et al. (2009)

  15. Case Study: Common Reed (Phragmitesaustralis) • Tall, invasive wetland plant that forms dense stands • Impairs wetland functions • Reduces biodiversity and property values • Limits human uses of beaches and recreational areas • Extremely difficult and costly to eradicate once established

  16. Case Study: Common Reed (Phragmitesaustralis) • USGS Great Lakes Science Center (Mazur and Kowalski) in collaboration with Michigan Tech Research Institute - Great Lakes Restoration Initiative project • Used current extent of Phragmites and vulnerability risk assessment to create a decision support tool to aid managers prioritize control efforts

  17. Case Study: Common Reed (Phragmitesaustralis) • Sampled 800 wetlands and used satellite imagery to map current distribution of Phragmites • Used a Geographic Information System (GIS) and knowledge of hydrologic alteration, shoreline • development, and excessive nitrogen to develop a Habitat Suitability Index

  18. Phragmites Spread Potential • Low lake levels recently have provided opportunities Phragmites to colonize newly exposed areas • Scientists simulated effects of additional lake level declines and the Habitat Suitability Model to predict potential spread

  19. Phragmites Decision Support Tool • Vulnerability assessment and distribution map available online • Tool allows land managers, home owners, and other users to access and visualize mapping data at a variety of scales

  20. Tipping the Scale? • Could climate change improve marginal conditions for species yet to invade? • Case Study: Asian carp • Bighead and silver carps • Large-bodied planktivores • Introduced in the 1970s • Escaped into waterways Bighead carp Silver carp

  21. Extent of Distribution • Reproducing in about 20 states • Nonindigenous Species Database ( Silver carp Bighead carp

  22. Preventing Entry into the Great Lakes • Proximity to Lakes Michigan and Erie • Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee

  23. Factors Potentially Limiting Success • Suitable temperature • Availability of suitable spawning and nursery habitat • Sufficient available food resources

  24. Suitable Temperature? Mandrak and Cudmore 2004 Bighead Silver • Maps based only on air temperature and other factors determine where fish can live • Need 2685 degree days over 15C to mature • Might not be currently met in some Lake Superior drainages • Affects food availability and potentially habitat

  25. Spawning and Nursery Habitat? • Need flowing water to spawn (perhaps around 100 km) • River length needed related to temperature • May be additional pressure to remove barriers to flow Kolar et al. 2007

  26. Food Resources? • Cooke and Hill (2010) • Bioenergetics modeling • Considered only planktonic food resources • Predicted that Asian carp should do well in parts of Lake Erie and other productive areas • But not in open water of Great Lakes • Increase in temperature would increase productivity and food availability

  27. Asian Carp and Ecosystem Services • Regulatory Services • Maintenance of water quality • Flood flow buffering • Provisioning Services • Water quality • Transportation • Navigation • Restructuring of fish communities • Recreational angling • Commercial fishing • Cultural Services • Recreation • Tourism • Existence values • Supporting Services • Nutrient cycling and primary production • Ecosystem resilience • Habitat for native species

  28. Asian Carp and Ecosystem Services Three factors potentially affecting establishment and ecological effects of Asian carp in the Great Lakes would be exasperated by increases in temperature

  29. Other Factors Affecting Habitat • Water depth, velocity, timing • Hydrologic and fire regimes • Physical, chemical, and biological components of habitat • Invasive sp. advantage: habitat generalists

  30. Response of Plants and Animals • Where species are located: range shifts • Timing of biological events: phenology • Biotic interactions: predation, competition

  31. Nonnative Diseases & Pathogens: Ichthyophonus Jim Winton, Western Fisheries Research Center • Protozoan parasite • Yukon chinook salmon

  32. Prevalence of Ichthyophonus in the Yukon River System

  33. Considerations • Preventing & controlling invasive species is high priority & resource-intensive • Invasive species issues are complicated by climate change, other global changes, & associated uncertainties • Understanding and minimizing these uncertainties will become more important with additional environmental stressors

  34. Considerations • Baseline information on species distribution is critical to future success • Modeling predict future scenarios is important to resource managers • USGS will continue to maintain & improve databases & provide research to help managers make more informed decisions