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Addressing the Risk and Impact of Biological Invasion Under Climate Change

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)
Bethany Bradley - University of Massachusetts Amherst
Cascade Sorte - University of California Irvine
Piper Wallingfor - University of California Irvine
Brittany Laginhas - University of Massachussetts Amherst
Evelyn Beaury - University of Massachussetts Amherst
External Partners: 

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 in the future. 

To meet this challenge, this team worked to develop tools that will translate science into forecasts and other outputs useful for management and conservation. The work was done in collaboration 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 compiled scientific data addressing the combined threats of climate change and invasions and convened 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 climate 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 outputs will support continued efforts to enable proactive management of invasive species under climate change. In addition, the team is exploring opportunities for a future symposium that will convene at the University of Michigan and strengthen efforts in the Midwest.

See also: Wallingford et al. 2020. Adjusting the lens of invasion biology to focus on the impacts of climate-driven range shifts. Nature Climate Change. 10:398-405.

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

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