Invasive Species

ARMI conducts research on the ecology of invasives, their impacts on native species, and how invasive species can be reduced or eradicated. Habitat used by amphibians has been exposed to many types of invasives through deliberate or accidental introductions. For example, sport fish deliberately introduced to ponds and streams in the western US that were formerly fishless, have been associated with the loss of amphibians in those water bodies. In another example, the American bullfrog of the Eastern US was introduced into the Western US through a combination of introductions into ponds for bait, and escapes from frog farms. The American bullfrog has been a relentless predator of several species already in conservation trouble in the Western US.

What types of problems do invasive species cause?
Some species harm native species directly by preying on them or competing with them for resources, and some modify or destroy the habitat used by native species.

Where do invasive species come from?
Some come from deliberate introductions such as biological control, stocking for hunting, fishing, or spreading bait species. Some are accidental escapes from pet stores, farming/aquaculture facilities, and ornamental gardens. Some animals are released by pet owners or teaching labs. Some species hitchhike with materials otherwise deliberately moved such as garden plants, ballast water, boats and nets.

Feral hogs.
Feral hogs trapped at St Marks NWR, FL. Photo by: W. Barichovich.

Terms Related to Invasive Species

Invasive species: Plant, animal or pathogen that is not native to an area, and "whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health." [US Executive Order 13112. 1999]

Injurious Wildlife (defined by Lacey Act) - Mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, mollusks and their offspring or gametes that are injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources of the United States. Plants and organisms other than those listed above cannot be listed as injurious wildlife. http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/ans/pdf_files/InjuriousWildlifeFactSheet2007.pdf

Nonindigenous species: Any species or other viable biological material that enters an ecosystem beyond its historic range, including any such organism transferred from one country into another. (Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990) http://anstaskforce.gov/Documents/nanpca90.pdf

Aquatic nuisance species: A nonindigenous species that threatens the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural, aquacultural or recreational activities dependent on such waters. (Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990) http://anstaskforce.gov/Documents/nanpca90.pdf

Resources

http://www.fws.gov/invasives/laws.html
http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/laws/main.shtml


Invasive Species - ARMI Papers & Reports

Data Release Calculations of BioLake climate data
Authors: Ryan C Burner; Richard E Erickson
Date: 2022-11-01 | Outlet: USGS GitLab
Climate data allow people to examine species distributions and possible distributions. This script takes ERA5-Land climate estimates (https://www.ecmwf.int/en/forecasts/datasets/reanalysis-datasets/era5) for precipitation and lake temperature and processes them to create summary climate layers for use with biological organisms in lakes. This code could be modified to use a different subset of years.

These BioLake raster data provide global estimates (~10.0 x 12.4 km resolution) of twelve bioclimatic variables based on estimated lake temperature. Eleven of these twelve variables (BioLake01 - BioLake11) are estimated for each of three lake strata: lake mix (surface) layer, lake bottom, and total lake water column. These eleven variables correspond to CHELSA (Climatologies at high resolution for the earth's land surface areas) bioclimatic variables BIO1 - BIO11, except that these BioLake variables are based on lake water temperature and CHELSA BIO1 - BIO11 variables are based on air temperature. CHELSA BIO is also calculated a finer spatial resolution (~1 x 1 km). The twelfth variable (BioLake20; months with non-zero ice cover) does not correspond to any CHELSA bioclimatic variable. The data are supplied as a multi-layer raster (.grd) file in the World Mollweide projection, accompanied by a header file (.gri) with layer names.

For BioLake layer download, see https://doi.org/10.5066/P96QLN5Y
Data Release BioLake bioclimatic variables based on ERA5-Land lake temperature estimates 1991-2020
Authors: Ryan C Burner; Richard E Erickson
Date: 2022-01-21 | Outlet: USGS ScienceBase
These BioLake raster data provide global estimates (~10.0 x 12.4 km resolution) of twelve bioclimatic variables based on estimated lake temperature. Eleven of these twelve variables (BioLake01 - BioLake11) are estimated for each of three lake strata: lake mix (surface) layer, lake bottom, and total lake water column. These eleven variables correspond to CHELSA (Climatologies at high resolution for the earth's land surface areas) bioclimatic variables BIO1 - BIO11, except that these BioLake variables are based on lake water temperature and CHELSA BIO1 - BIO11 variables are based on air temperature. CHELSA BIO is also calculated a finer spatial resolution (~1 x 1 km). The twelfth variable (BioLake20; months with non-zero ice cover) does not correspond to any CHELSA bioclimatic variable. The data are supplied as a multi-layer raster (.grd) file in the World Mollweide projection, accompanied by a header file (.gri) with layer names.
Papers & Reports Invasive bullfrogs maintain MHC polymorphism including alleles associated with chytrid fungal infection
Authors: Jacob LaFond; Katherine R Martin; Hollis Dahn; Jonathan Q Richmond; Robert W Murphy; Njal Rollinson; Anna E Savage
Date: 2022-05-19 | Outlet: Integrative and Comparative Biology 62:262–274
Maintenance of genetic diversity at adaptive loci may facilitate invasions by non-native species by allowing populations to adapt to novel environments, despite the loss of diversity at neutral loci that typically occurs during founder events. To evaluate this prediction, we compared genetic diversity at major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and cytochrome b (cytb) loci from 20 populations of the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) across the invasive and native ranges in North America and quantified the presence of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Compared to native populations, invasive populations had significantly higher Bd prevalence and intensity, significantly higher pairwise MHC and cytb FST, and significantly lower cytb diversity, but maintained similar levels of MHC diversity. The two most common MHC alleles (LiCA_B and Rapi_33) were associated with a significant decreased risk of Bd infection, and we detected positive selection acting on four peptide binding residues. Phylogenetic analysis suggested invasive populations likely arose from a single founding population in the American Midwest with a possible subsequent invasion in the northwest. Overall, our study suggests that the maintenance of diversity at adaptive loci may contribute to invasion success and highlights the importance of quantifying diversity at functional loci to assess the evolutionary potential of invasive populations.
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