Supporting aquatic ecosystem management through interdisciplinary research to address concerns with aquatic invasive species establishment under climate change
There is a critical need for interdisciplinary research to help manage aquatic resources that are challenged by multiple stressors such as climate change and aquatic invasive species (AIS). In this presentation I will use the case of interior lakes in Ontario, Canada to highlight emerging results from interdisciplinary research focused on understanding how AIS establishment in waterbodies can be mediated by future drivers such as climate and human population change. I describe an approach that links the habitat suitability of waterbodies for AIS with the primary mechanisms by which AIS are expected to arrive. Drawing from existing and freshly collected data about individuals who are known to move and introduce AIS (i.e. recreational fishers, other recreational boaters, and aquaria and water garden owners), I illustrate how potential future changes to Ontario’s population are likely to affect these individuals and their movement of AIS to interior lakes. Combined with estimates of how climate change can alter the suitability of lakes to host AIS, the result of this work is a more wholistic consideration of factors that can affect future AIS establishment in Ontario’s lakes.
Host: Robert Arlinghaus