Eradicating Eradication: A New Framework for Invasive Species Control
Open Access: Stephanie J Green, Edwin D Gosholz, Functional Eradication as A Framework for Invasive Species Control, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Volume 19, Issue 2, March 2021, Pages 98-107.
When eliminating invasive species population becomes an impractical goal, population suppression and containment become the next priority for management. However, developing quantitative measures and goals for these management activities can ultimately help define the success of these interventions. In their research, Green and Grosholz propose that shifting the paradigm of population suppression to what they call “Functional Eradication” allows for a more efficient model of management of invasive species. Borrowing from management approaches in disciplines of forestry and agricultural systems, this strategy focuses on severely reducing invasive species populations in certain key areas in order to mitigate negative impacts, rather than attempting to eliminate them all together throughout an expansive area. In order for this model to be effective, however, it is important for researchers to incorporate an understanding of the mechanism by which the invaders create a negative impact on the population as well as having an understanding of the population level at which these negative effects will occur and how fast that they will repopulate after eradication. By incorporating this understanding, researchers can then develop targeted strategies that also conserve management resources which can then be applied to other areas. Green and Grosholz point to the Red Lionfish (Pterois spp), the European green crabs (Carcinus maenas), and the Rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus) as example aquatic invasive species for which the functional eradication model has shown promise given their population density and invaded range.
- Functional eradication is a strategy that focuses on suppressing populations of invasive species below levels that cause unacceptable negative impacts on conservation targets.
- This strategy requires key ecological information on the ecology of each invasive species, such as recolonization potential and understanding mechanism of negative effects.
- This strategy has been shown to be successful for the management of several species such as the Red Lionfish (Pterois spp), the European green crabs (Carcinus maenas), and the Rusty crayfish (Faxonius rusticus), providing the double benefit of efficiently suppressing the invasive species while using fewer resources.
- Whether or not functional eradication will be an effective approach for a certain species can depend on several factors, including their impact on ecosystems, population dynamics, and distribution of habitat.
- Developing conceptual frameworks and models such as functional eradication helps create more targeted conservation plans that conserve resources and also generate social and economic benefits.
- Detailed information on population density, how the species negatively affects an ecosystem, and how the population grows are needed to design an effective conservation plan with this approach.
- Without clear quantitative goals for invasive species control, conservation resources may be used inefficiently and success over time is difficult to document.
Read more of our research summaries:
An international team of 19 researchers identify and summarize four critical priority areas to better advance invasion science in an era of rapid global change.
This paper summarizes current research and knowledge about one of the top invasive species in Europe to help inform management of other invasive species that cover broad ranges and span diverse habitat types.
After eluding scientists for decades, the causative agent of a deadly wildlife disease (vacuolar myelinopathy) is uncovered in a recent study, and has been linked to the colonization of invasive Hydrilla.
Functional eradication, a new framework for invasive species control, focuses on suppressing invasive species below levels that have significant negative impacts on conservation targets.
Invasive forest pests can spread when people move firewood from place to place, but this review helps to identify how we can prevent it from spreading further.
Advances in eDNA research show promise for estimating the abundance of invasive fish populations using water samples.
Garlic mustard may occupy forest understories, but mounting evidence shows that with time, populations of this ubiquitous invader are in decline.
Plant competition seemingly plays out before our eyes, but Zhang et al. find that invasive plants may gain a competitive edge through unseen soil interactions.
Buying aquarium organisms from across the world can be as easy as the click of a button, and that's the problem.
If you’re an invasive shrub, you hold on to your leaves– citizen scientists helped to find that extended leaf phenology between native and invasive shrubs gets more similar as you move northward.
How do some aquatic species with low-mobility become widespread? Dispersing locally gives an advantage, and playing stowaway gets them the rest of the way.
Perennial Pepperweed, a widespread invasive in the west and emerging invader in the northeast, can be managed by restoring hydrologic regimes- herbicides can help too.