Graham Sustainability Institute

Addressing the Risk and Impact of Biological Invasion Under Climate Change

Gypsy moth

Project Team

Inés Ibáñez - U-M School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) (PI)
Deborah Goldberg - U-M College for Literature, Arts & Sciencies (LSA), Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)
Victoria Campbell-Arvai - SEAS
Bethany Bradley - University of Massachusetts Amherst
Cascade Sorte - University of California Irvine

External Partner

Project Summary

The introduction of harmful, invasive species is a significant global challenge, and one expected to be complicated by climate change. Invasive species can disrupt critical ecosystem services provided by natural ecosystems, such as water provision and purification, climate amelioration, and economic resources. Concrete predictions of how biological invasions will take place and affect a particular system under climate change will be imperative for the development of efficient management and conservation plans. 

To meet this challenge, this team is working to develop tools that will translate science into forecasts and other outputs useful for management and conservation. The work is being done in collabortion with RISCC, an initiative of the Northeast Climate Science Center, which brings together scientists, managers, and policymakers to share knowledge and meet the planning and information needs of managers. 

With catalyst grant support, this team compilled scientific data addressing the combined threats of climate change and invasions and convenened a multi-disciplinary and multi-sector workshop. This work yielded:

  • a well-defined set of informational and research needs from invasive species managers,
  • a synthesis of existing research on invasive species and climate change,
  • plans for synthesis projects to better understand invasion risk under cimate change, and
  • formation of a multidisciplinary working group of researchers and practitioners ready to develop a working framework providing solutions to practioner-identified issues.

These will be used to support continued efforts to enable proactive management of invasive species under climate change.

For more details, read the final project report (PDF).

This project received a $10,000 Catalyst Grant in 2018.