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Research Priorities

Since 2015, NYISRI has been asking our stakeholders their research needs– what information do they need to better accomplish their jobs in invasive species management? By asking NY’s partnerships for regional invasive species management (PRISMs), as well as state agency members and programmers, we’ve compiled a list of research priorities that guide NYISRI’s actions. We seek to address these needs, whether through work that NYISRI does itself, or by making research partners aware of these needs and supplying funding opportunities.

Explore the research needs for invasive species in New York below, divided across the following 10 categories:

Explore

View the top 30 research priorities in this interactive presentation, or navigate the left menu to view all by category.

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Climate & Ecology

  • Modeling what species we need to look out for due to climate change. (Rank 6)
  • Understanding the effect that a changing climate will have on the range and dynamics of existing invasive species. (Rank 10)
  • Developing recommendations of native plants for restoration that are ‘climate smart’ – i.e. not necessarily native to New York, but adapted to climate warming and unlikely to become invasive. (Rank 16)
  • Understanding which planting strategies would maximize the survival, growth, and recruitment of native plants in natural areas, in nurseries, and in afforestation sites? Would a combination of annuals, early flowering perennials, or fall flowering perennials that leaf out early prevent invasive species from dominating? (Rank 39)
  • As volunteers participate in invasive removals, test the following: 1) what grows back at the site on its own, 2) what grows back at the site if it is deer-fenced; 3) what native plants can be quickly seeded or planted to serve as a filler and compete with returning invaders until a restoration project has been implemented. (Rank 40)
  • Developing a carbon loss model which estimates the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere as the result of deforestation by invasive forest pests and pathogens. This can be used to determine the potential impacts on climate change as a result of deforestation. (Rank 67)
View 2 more Climate & Ecology priorities
  • Understanding the relationship between porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) and soil contaminants along roadsides and highways? Is porcelain berry a nitrogen-fixing vine? If so, is the presence of nitrous oxides from car exhaust related to its promotion? (Rank 100)
  • Managing exotic lawn grasses (eg Elymus repens, Dactylis glomerata, Poa pratensis) to convert lawns to native meadows in WNY. (Rank 115)

( = top 10 ranking)

Education & Communication

  • Developing a newsletter that synthesizes recent invasive-related research and disseminates it to practitioners. (Rank 3)
  • Communicating research-based recommendations for reducing the introduction of forest pests to policy makers. (Rank 19)
  • Identifying effective methods of outreach to and coordination with commercial suppliers of products which can be widely distributed (compost and mulch facilities, plant nurseries, agriculture suppliers) regarding invasive species detection and control. (Rank 20)
  • Establishing the most effective education and outreach strategies for spotted lanternfly. (Rank 44)
  • Establishing effective education and management strategies for Southern Pine Beetle, perhaps putting together a team to visit parks and combat the issue. (Rank 93)

( = top 10 ranking)

Impacts on Ecology

  • Providing impact studies of invasive species and forecasting distribution models, to help prevent the spread before species become wide spread throughout NYS. In many cases, NYC and the southern tier is a gateway with many widespread species. Studies that focus on impact there could help prevent throughout the rest of the state. (Rank 21)
  • Understanding the long-term impact of invasive forest pests on forest ecosystem functions and services. (Rank 24)
  • Understanding how invasive species have impacted biodiversity in NYS over time, and how this can help pinpoint biodiversity areas at highest risk. (Rank 38)
View 12 more Impacts on Ecology priorities
  • Determining the impact that quagga/zebra mussels have on nutrient levels and harmful algal blooms in lakes. (Rank 63)
  • Understanding Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) and its interaction with native flora, and Jumping worm (Amythas spp) species. (Rank 70)
  • Better understanding of the impact that aquatic invasive plants have on internal nutrient loading of lakes and embayment’s and the potential of aquatic invasive plants to facilitate harmful algae blooms. (Rank 72)
  • Understanding the extent and rate of invasion, impacts, and long-term threat of the multiple Asian Worm/Jumping Worm species on forest ecosystems and critical watersheds? Our processes seem best tuned to respond to invasive plants, insects, and pathogens, not worms. But if these prolific leaf-litter-strippers become broadly established, their full-stack ecosystem impact could be severe and permanent. (Rank 73)
  • HWA has not caused erosion in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but the Catskills have different geography/geology and flashier stream systems. It would helpful to verify that erosion has not been an issue in areas where mortality has already occurred there. (Rank 82)
  • Assessing the impact of the carnivorous invasive aquatic plant waterwheel (Aldrovanda vesiculosa) on aquatic ecosystems in NY State and what is the risk of spread to other water bodies in the state? (Rank 83)
  • Assessing the impact of Southern Pine Beetle. The Southern Pine Beetle issue is also related to climate change and potential impacts. (Rank 85)
  • Understanding populations dynamics, feeding preferences and impacts of grass carp on aquatic invasive plants in New York waterbodies. (Rank 95)
  • Understanding the impact of feral/free roaming cats on native ecosystems. (Rank 99)
  • Understanding the impact of Chinese and banded mystery snails, and other invasive snails. (Rank 101)
  • Researching and quantifying impacts of invasive common carp on water quality and aquatic plant assemblages. (Rank 103)
  • Studying impact of Chinese bush clover (Lespedeza cuneata) and other invaders on structure and species composition of grasslands, including insects and soil microorganisms. (Rank 104)

Impacts on the Economy

  • Estimating the impact of forest pests on the NY economy. (Rank 17)
  • Improving information on the connection between invasive species and human health and economics/cost of living. (Rank 47)
  • Identifying invasive species that have a negative economic impact on agriculture including the horticulture industry. (Rank 49)

Nonspecific Impacts

  • Understanding the actual impacts of some of the aquatic species. If there is no to minimal impact then maybe resources are better spent elsewhere but without knowing the actual impacts of a species this decision can’t be made. (Rank 77)
  • Assessing the impact of barberry (Berberis spp.). (Rank 78)
  • Understanding the impacts of marine invasive species in New York. (Rank 91)
  • Understanding impacts of freshwater jellyfish. (Rank 112)

( = top 10 ranking)

Improving Management

  • Establishing more best management practices for common invaders. These should utilize both organic and synthetic methods. And include comprehensive information about reproduction: seed dispersal, rhizome spread GGD time, longevity of seed viability. (Rank 8)
  • Developing strategies and infrastructure to screen for and treat invasive seed banks in topsoil and gravel pits. (Rank 28)
  • Comparing the environmental impacts of herbicide usage versus other methods of invasive control. (Rank 37)
  • Researching best management practices for how to control tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima). (Rank 41)
View 14 more Improving Management priorities
  • Assessing the efficacy and developing new control strategies for hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). (Rank 54)
  • Researching best management practices for how to eradicate, contain, and suppress Japanese stilt-grass (Microstegium vimineum). (Rank 56)
  • Researching efficacy of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) control options. (Rank 58)
  • Developing better management tools for hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata). (Rank 62)
  • Researching and making available non-herbicidal treatments. (Rank 65)
  • Developing methods for controlling and removing Japanese angelica tree (Aralia elata). (Rank 68)
  • Developing a control for wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) as it seems to be flourishing everywhere, especially along travel corridors. (Rank 75)
  • Researching controls for wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris) this invasive is spreading rapidly in NYS and is very difficult to control. (Rank 84)
  • Identifying safe and effective treatments to reduce jumping worms for homeowners. (Rank 87)
  • Assessing control options for Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) — this invasive species is spreading extremely rapidly in our region. (Rank 88)
  • Establishing management strategies for invasive snails (Chinese/Banded Mystery Snails and others). These species are becoming a big issue for some lake associations on small lakes in New York, but there is very little documentation on control mechanisms. (Rank 89)
  • Developing strategies for management and control of invasive Asian jumping worms (Amythas spp.). These are prevalent in parts of Westchester and Putnam County but have not appeared in other parts of New York so they haven’t gotten the attention they require. (Rank 97)
  • European Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis cerasi) control or eradication. This could also include research into treating native hosts such as honeysuckle for either the pest or to eliminate the honeysuckle in areas of concern. (Rank 108)
  • Establishing a better non-biological control method for purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). (Rank 114)

Advancing Biocontrol

  • Advancing swallow-wort biocontrol development and release. (Rank 12)
  • Completing research and submitting petition for the water chestnut biological control project. (Rank 13)
  • Evaluating potential for select biological control agents for control of Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria spp). (Rank 18)
  • Developing IPM tools to manage spotted lanternfly in grapes, forests, and landscapes. (Rank 31)
View 4 more Advancing Biocontrol priorities
  • Developing and sustaining large-scale biological control rearing facilities (Rank 57)
  • Developing non-chemical controls for lesser celandine (Ficaria verna). (Rank 102)
  • Determining ways to control and eliminate Spotted Knapweed and other invasive knapweeds (black, brown, diffuse), including biocontrol. (Rank 107)
  • Developing non-chemical or low toxicity methods to manage spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). (Rank 113)

( = top 10 ranking)

Developing Metrics & Approaches

  • Designing and testing a protocol and developing metrics to assess the effectiveness of invasive species control measures. (Rank 2)
  • Development of simple metrics for success of restoration efforts – for use in the monitoring phase after initial IS removal and to allow for quicker intervention. I.E. thresholds that are low enough to allow for (and recommend) intervention before issues become too costly to address. (Rank 5)
  • Estimating efficacy of invasive species management in NYS to date. Have the benefits outweighed the costs? (Rank 14)
  • Understanding the impact of various invasive management strategies on soil health. (Rank 52)
View 6 more Metrics & Approaches priorities
  • Understanding the environmental impacts of low-dose pesticide application techniques (i.e. cut stump application of triclopyr) over short and long term (impacts of breakdown products and movement through the environment from application site). (Rank 64)
  • Understanding the relative effectiveness and merits of different methods for controlling Eurasian water milfoil by hand-harvesting, including hand-pulling by SCUBA divers, diver-assisted suction harvesting (DASH), and initial treatment with herbicides followed by harvesting. (Rank 76)
  • Assessing efficacy of flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) control strategies. (Rank 80)
  • Exploring alternative uses for invasive plants (fiber, biodigester, biofuel applications). (Rank 98)
  • Understanding the effect on nesting birds / migrating birds / mating birds when a porcelainberry vine patch is replaced with native tree saplings and shrubs during the first growing season after planting? After 5 years? 10 years? (Rank 105)
  • Information relating to strategies for living alongside of invasive plants rather than engaging in practices with non-target impacts. (Rank 109)

( = top 10 ranking)

Pathways for Invasion

  • Strategies for working with transportation departments to help prevent spread. (Rank 4)
  • Developing tools to connect New York managers to managers in the mid-Atlantic to put together proactive best management practices for invasive species likely to expand into New York with climate change. (Rank 7)
  • Assessing drivers of aquatic invasive species spread: Do lakes that have New York State installed public boat launches have a greater percentage of invasive species than lakes without? Do fishing boats carry more invasive species than pleasure boats and do they travel to more lakes in a season, thus potentially spread more invasive species? (Rank 15)
  • Establishing the temperature threshold where composting kills jumping worm cocoons. (Rank 33)
  • Testing which strategies (user fees, boat launch lockdowns, mandatory inspection) are most effective at reducing the spread of AIS. (Rank 34)
  • Conducting a horizon scan of introduction pathways to New York (including from domestic and international sources) to enable better targeting of prevention and early detection interventions. (Rank 36)
  • Determining the epidemiology of beech leaf disease and potential mitigation measures or prevention of spread. (Rank 48)
View 4 more Pathways priorities
  • Establishing the current distribution of jumping worms (Amynthas spp.). Are they spreading in commercial plant stock? Compost? Soil? (Rank 59)
  • Stopping the influx of invasive species that arrive at our international ports. There are not enough inspectors to adequately inspect incoming goods. (Rank 90)
  • Surveying marine invasive species (fauna and flora) in NYS waters. Survey could consist of events such as “bioblitzes” held throughout the marine district or concerted scientific study. (Rank 92)
  • Assessing potential spread of European frog-bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) by waterfowl. (Rank 94)

( = top 10 ranking)

Prioritization and Planning

  • Continued identification of species (in horticulture & from the south) to screen for potential addition to Part 575 regulations. (Rank 1)
  • Assessing and addressing the potential of public health pests making their way into NYS and the disease vectors like invasive ticks, which have already arrived. (Rank 43)
  • Tools and frameworks to help prioritize limited resources in order to minimize impacts and reach management goals. (Rank 22)
  • Structured prioritization of early detection surveys across species and locales. (Rank 32)
  • Establishing the most cost-effective methods to monitor hemlock health, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, and Elongate Hemlock Scale over a large landscape. (Rank 45)
  • Structured prioritization of state resource allocation for managing established Invaders, accounting for federal resource investments. (Rank 51)
View 3 more Prioritization priorities
  • Comparing strategies (gamification, location-based alerts, etc-) for retaining citizen scientists and volunteers for invasive species initiatives. (Rank 53)
  • Establishing a public / private partnership involving local businesses, local government, NFP’s and individuals who work together with IS groups and scientists to fight IS. The government cannot do it alone. (Rank 69)
  • Addressing the political/legislative/economic issues behind invasive species in New York State in addition to the biological. (Rank 74)

( = top 10 ranking)

New & Emerging Species

  • Researching the timing of flower and seed production in slender false brome. When does the species typically produce flowers, and how long after flowers appear is seed produced? (Rank 61)
  • Understanding seed viability of slender false brome. Research into conditions needed for germination of this species and seed viability after transportation in water. (Rank 66)
  • Researching the genetics of Myriophyllum heterophyllum and Cabomba caroliniana to determine nativity. (Rank 81)
  • Novel ecosystems arising from non-native plant introductions: Impact on biodiversity, ecosystem function, natural succession, other species groups, etc. Understanding to what extent (and when, where) should we accept these novel ecosystems, or try to manage species composition and function? (Rank 86)
View 4 more New Species priorities
  • Whole-genome sequencing and genomic analysis of invasive species. (Rank 96)
  • Understanding Callery/Bradford pear crosses and cultivars and their invasive potential. (Rank 106)
  • Studying all of the exotic Carex in New York and compare their population sizes, natural history plant geography, biology, and ecology so land managers would be aware of which ones to be concerned about. Most people (and botanists) don’t know about our 14 exotic Carex species. Carex kobomugi and Carex flacca, and Carex expansa seem to be the worst. (Rank 110)
  • Establishing the extent and impact of European alder (Alnus glutinosa) hybridization with native alders. (Rank 111)

( = top 10 ranking)

Advancing Techniques to Aid Management

  • Developing tools for assessing the impact of invasive species. (Rank 11)
  • Testing whether detection dogs are more effective at detecting Tier 1 species than traditional search methods. (Rank 26)
  • Identifying best strategies for directing volunteers to search for new infestations (early detection). (Rank 29)
  • Modeling habitat suitability for the high priority aquatic invasive plants. (Rank 35)
  • Modeling which areas within New York the Spotted Lanternfly will establish. (Rank 42)
View 5 more Techniques priorities
  • Using artificial intelligence/computer learning to analyze photos submitted by citizen scientists for accuracy. (Rank 50)
  • Developing artificial intelligence/computer learning tools to analyze large-scale spatial digital imagery databases. (Rank 55)
  • On a regional or statewide basis, institute/test an early-warning/early detection system survey of lakes (and possibly river systems) using environmental DNA. Spatial priorities for such a system could be set in consultation with DEC, PRISMS and other stakeholder groups based on where the biggest bang for the buck would be if a harmful species was detected. (Rank 60)
  • Identifying factors that influence invaders reporting bias in the statewide database. (Rank 71)
  • Evaluating the role of biotechnology in addressing various invasive species threats (social acceptance and/or scientific feasibility for different applications). (Rank 79)

eDNA

  • Using eDNA to target multiple species/taxa in both the aquatic and terrestrial environments for early detection/rapid response. (Rank 23)
  • Developing eDNA tests for aquatic invasive plants. (Rank 30)
  • Developing eDNA for forest pests and their biocontrols. (Rank 46)

( = top 10 ranking)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was asked?

In 2019, using a group concept mapping approach NYISRI solicited research priorities from a broader group of invasive species stakeholders, including PRISM Network members, PRISM staff, DEC staff, iMapInvasives staff, the NY Invasive Species Council, NY Invasive Species Advisory Board, and the NYISRI Advisory Board.  This approach involved three stages:  brainstorming, sorting, and rating. In the brainstorming phase, participants submitted ideas in response to the following prompt: “A specific invasive species research-related need in my region or NYS is …”

How were these priorities ranked?

In the sorting phase, consolidated idea statements from the brainstorming phase were categorized. In the final ranking phase, participants indicated their preference according to importance and feasibility. The ranking indicated next to each statement on this page is the result of this process, and accounts for both perceived feasibility and importance.

View this presentation from the 2020 Cornell Cooperative Extension In-Service for additional information. A formal report detailing this approach will be available soon.

View a pdf version of all priorities here.

Climate

  •  What species do we need to look out for either due to climate change or other factors?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Ecology

  • The role of associated influences/stressors and their effects on invasive species introductions and spread.
  • BMPs for restoration of EAB impacted natural areas and/or soon to be impacted areas.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Education & Communication

  •  Improving tools for engaging the public in recognizing and reporting invasive species.
  • What methods are most effective for recruiting and retaining volunteers to collect data? (e.g., Location-Based alerts? Gamification?)
  • Key educational messages used (whether fact sheets, bulletins, social media…) and what works to get the info out.  As well as how to reach groups that are comprehensive.
  • How to curb the rise of invasive species denialism?  What has brought us to this point and how do we avoid following the path of climate change denialism?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Impacts

  • How much more does it cost highway departments to maintain roadways heavily invaded by terrestrial invasive plants as opposed to uninvaded roadways.
  • NYNHP has been documenting conditions of, and threats to, rare species and significant communities for 30 years. Data collected for Element Occurrences could be used to examine the effects of invasive species at revisited sites across the state.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Management

  • Synthesis of information on BMPs for pesticide usage (types, concentrations, timing (seasonality & life cycle), species specific) specific for NYS.
  • Synthesis of information on effective management methods – species specific. 
  • BMSB – trials needed for more effective monitoring/trapping; using Tedder traps.

Biocontrol

Advancing Biocontrol Agents for…

  • Swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum spp)
  • Water chestnut (Trapa natans)
  • Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria spp.)
  • Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
  • Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)
  • Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Metrics & Approaches

  • What simple, standardized metrics can we be collecting to measure treatment effectiveness and impacts of presumed invaders over time?
  • Improved understanding of impacts of invasive species removal on the health and integrity of ecosystems, including soil communities – include comparison of chemical impacts vs. manual & mechanical removal.
  • How to accurately measure habitat areas protected from invasive plant removal activities? This is a situation that is currently being faced by PRISMs who want to quantify the conservation impacts they have.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

New & Emerging Species

Understand the impact of emerging invaders, including…

  • Sticky sage (Salvia glutinosa), Incised fumewort (Corydalis incisa), Linden viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum), Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana)
  • Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)
  • Swede midge (Contarinia nasturtii)
  • Common Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Pathways

  • Further investigate the movement of AIS between waterbodies; especially rivers & canals (i.e. spiny waterflea).
  • How large of a role do waterfowl play in spreading and establishing infestations of aquatic invasive plants?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Prioritization

  • Develop a tool (such as for lakes) to address AIS management in rivers and moving water – regulations, procedures, etc.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Techniques

  • Improving/developing early detection techniques: remote sensing/surveys – use of drone and aerial technology.
  • Development of eDNA tests for aquatic invasive plants, especially hydrilla.
  • How can we best direct volunteers to search for new infestations (early detection)?
  • Development of a species specific pheromone based bait and netting protocol for confirmation and removal of invasive fish. 
  • What data gaps in the invasive species database should be addressed to provide the most valuable information to stakeholders (from species and site perspectives)?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was asked?

In 2018, NYISRI asked each coordinator from New York’s 8 Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs), as well staff from iMapInvasives and the NY DEC Invasive Species Coordination Unit for their research needs.  

How were these priorities rated?

Once these were collected, NYISRI staff compiled new research needs with old, and asked each participant to rate (on a scale of 0 – 3, with 3 being the highest priority) how important each research need was to address for their region.  Based on these responses, we assigned categories of high, medium, and low priority, corresponding roughly to the upper, middle, and lower third of ratings, respectively.

View a pdf version of all priorities here.

Climate

  • What species do we need to look out for either due to climate change or other factors?
  • Climate change relationship with invasion.  What changes in species composition of natural ecosystems can we expect? What should our response be? (prevention, management, adaptation etc.)
  • Synthesis of existing research on climate change and invasive species.  Could involve the development of climate smart invasive species management recommendations.
  • Has climate change or other factors led to increased likelihood of water lettuce establishment in NY//Overwintering tolerance of water lettuce.
  • Has climate change or other factors led to increased likelihood of water hyacinth establishment in NY//overwintering tolerance of water hyacinth.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Ecology

  • Restoration following removal of top NYS priority species:  Implementation, soil needs (chemistry and fungi), ecosystem resiliency for BMP’s to be effective for spatial prioritization.
  • What is the predicted and/or occurring invasive species response to Pine and Oak die off in Pine Barrens following southern pine beetle and Oak wilt?
  • What are the effects of ozone exposure on vegetation on Long Island? Is it reducing forest health?
  • What is the potential for use of Phragmites as a bioextraction plant?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Education & Communication

  • Improving tools for engaging the public in recognizing and reporting invasive species.
  • What methods are most effective for recruiting and retaining volunteers to collect data? (e.g., Location-Based alerts? Gamification?)
  • Key educational messages used (whether fact sheets, bulletins, social media…) and what works to get the info out.  As well as ways to reach groups that are comprehensive.
  • How to curb the rise of invasive species denialism?  What has brought us to this point and how do we avoid following the path of climate change denialism?
  • Evaluation of outreach methods regarding chemical use to control invaders.
  • Continue to provide updates on new advancements.
  • Understanding the social science level to the next steps (taking the last study  and bringing it to the next level.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Impacts

  • Impact of many nonnative, invasive plant species on ecosystem processes, and on abundance and health of native plant and animal species (including native insect herbivores; soil microflora and fauna). These are the questions we have the most difficulty answering in the NYS invasive plant assessment system. Assumptions about impacts are often made in the literature and in invasive management practice.
  • Japanese stiltgrass is doing very well in our forests at BNL: Research on ecological impacts and effective controls would be very helpful.
  • NYNHP has been documenting conditions of, and threats to, rare species and significant communities for 30 years. Data collected for Element Occurrences could be used to examine the effects of invasive species at revisited sites across the state.
  • Threat of invasion of Oak wilt, Tree of heaven, particularly by lake shores, Mile-a-minute.
  •  Example species for impact research:  Impact of Lespedeza cuneata on structure and species composition of grasslands, including insects and soil microorganisms. Hempstead Plains (Nassau Co.) would be a good field site. And how to control it.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Management

  • Looking into areas that have contaminated soils/sites (i.e. from PCB’s, Brownfields, etc.) that are inhabited by invasive species – best recommendations for treatment; containment; safety.  Also what happens when doing a pesticide treatment and the chemical reactions that can occur with the existing chemicals in the soils.  Especially if it is a species high on the priority species list.
  • Species specific control and disposal methods, and cost-benefit analyses of various strategies – focus on established invaders like Phragmites, water chestnut, swallow-wort, Japanese barberry, Japanese knotweed, Japanese stilt grass, oriental bittersweet, glossy buckthorn, porcelain berry, autumn olive, bush honeysuckle.
  • Approve Milestone for use in controlling invasive species in NYS  (it is the only state of the 50 that hasn’t approved it).
  • Phragmites: are there techniques developed for removal?

Biocontrol

Advancing Biocontrol of…

  • Swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum spp)
  • Water chestnut (Trapa natans)
  • Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria spp.)
  • Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
  • Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)
  • Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)
  • Common reed (Phragmites)
  • Weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula)

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Metrics & Approaches

  • Designing and implementing a protocol to assess the effectiveness of invasive species control measures.  Project would involve scientist/manager partnerships and experiential learning.
  • What simple, standardized metrics can we be collecting to measure treatment effectiveness and impacts of presumed invaders over time?
  • Developing tools for assessing the impacts of invaders.
  • How to accurately measure habitat areas protected from invasive plant removal activities? This is a situation that is currently being faced by PRISMs who want to quantify the conservation impacts they have.
  • We would like more data on the efficacy of our hemlock treatments. What we wish to know is how long the residuals of our treatments remain in the needles of the hemlocks lasts.
  • Feasibility study for the reintroduction of livestock grazing by type to control invaders and facilitate recruitment of natives especially within grasslands and woodland understory.
  • Does forest management in Pine Barrens through active management improve resiliency to invasive pests?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

New & Emerging Species

Understand the impact of emerging invaders, including…

  • Sticky sage (Salvia glutinosa), Incised fumewort (Corydalis incisa), Linden viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum), Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana)
  • Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)
  • Slender false brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum):  (timing of flowering, seed production, seed viability, conditions for germination, water transportation, predictive map on habitat preference, best management practices)
  • Novel ecosystems: What does the evidence show after more than a decade of debate?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Pathways

  • How large of a role do waterfowl play in spreading and establishing infestations of aquatic invasive plants?
  • How prevalent are Asian carp and other non-permitted fish in bait buckets and bait shops?
  • A study of the potential spread of Eragrostis curvula from roadsides into Pine Barrens especially in association with fire.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Prioritization

  • How can areas be further prioritized for species-specific surveys and treatments? (the current prioritization maps do not incorporate species criteria).
  • Apply Structured Decision Making process to higher profile or contentious invasive species management decisions in NYS (ex: Hydrilla in the Croton, SPB in LI, etc).
  • Process for prioritizing to decide on which species may occur and where (novel & applicable to a region, not just on a specific area).
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the IS spatial prioritization maps (ground-truthing and data analysis).

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Techniques

  • Development of eDNA tests for aquatic invasive plants, especially hydrilla.
  • HWA:  High resolution remote monitoring of hemlock health (perhaps using drones);  tracking and monitoring the spread of HWA, EHS, and Southern Pine Beetle.
  • How can we best direct volunteers to search for new infestations (early detection)? 
  • Methods for early detection of spiny water flea.
  • eDNA: Increase the number and specificity of markers/sequence available.
  • Could we implement a project similar to the CompSusNet’s work with eBird to identify important data gaps and then encourage volunteers to focus efforts there? 
  • Use of unmanned aquatic vehicles for monitoring aquatic invasive plants:  How effective and efficient is an unmanned aquatic vehicle in monitoring for aquatic invasive plants?
  • What data gaps in the invasive species database should be addressed to provide the most valuable information to stakeholders (from species and site perspectives)? 
  • How can we partner with the Institute for Computational Sustainability to tackle difficult questions in invasive species management?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was asked?

In 2016 and 2017, NYISRI asked New York State’s 8 PRISM Coordinators, as well as staff from iMapInvasives and the NY DEC’s Invasive Species Coordination Unit to complete a Qualtrics survey to share their research needs.

How were priorities defined?

Importance ratings for these needs were solicited in 2018. Once priorities were collected, NYISRI staff compiled new research needs with old, and asked each participant to rate (on a scale of 0 – 3, with 3 being the highest priority) how important each research need was to address for their region.  Based on these responses, we assigned categories of high, medium, and low priority, corresponding roughly to the upper, middle, and lower third of ratings, respectively.

View a pdf version of all priorities here.

Climate

  • What species do we need to look out for either due to climate change or other factors?
  • What are the likely impacts of climate change on invasive species distribution and abundance in NY?
  • How will forest pests interact with climate change. We understand that we have more time in the mountains to deal with hemlock mortality, but, for how long will that be true given HWA’s ability to build cold tolerance very quickly in its populations, and the fact that our climate is changing too?
  • Has climate change or other factors led to increased likelihood of water lettuce establishment in NY//Overwintering tolerance of water lettuce.
  • Has climate change or other factors led to increased likelihood of water hyacinth establishment in NY//overwintering tolerance of water hyacinth.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Ecology

  • More work on the soil microbiome of swallow wort would be useful. For example, studies to compare soil microbes in Europe (where I have seen swallow-wort growing as “just another weed”) might turn up a class of microbes that exist here that could be applied to the soil and put swallowwort in check, either by slowing root growth, affecting seed production or reducing seed survival in the soil.
  • Understanding upland Phragmites-Why is it there? Should managers try to eradicate it when it’s encroaching into forested areas? It is usually indicative of poor drainage, but that seems to be a rule of thumb for wetland or coastal areas. Have not heard specific information on Phragmites.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Education & Communication

  • Could a time lapse photography of a southern pine beetle infestation or really any other invasive species infestation be done? It would be an interesting learning tool. It shows what happens when a problem is not addressed, and it may show how quickly a problem becomes worse when it is not addressed.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Impacts

  • Evaluate impacts (adverse and/or beneficial) of invasive faunal populations on ecosystem health. We have heard about the earthworms and various insects, but there are other invasive fauna like turtles, crabs, snails, birds, etc.
  •  Pale and black swallow-wort deserve further research. One area to study more is the impact these plants have on forests, especially understories already heavily browsed by deer.
  • Determine species with the biggest potential economic impact to agribusiness, tourism, property values, clean water supply, and health.
  • Value (if any) of invasive species to all pollinators (nutritional, nectar, etc).
  • Need to quantify impacts of invasive species on tourism – non agriculture, hunting or large business related economic impacts.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Management

  • Suggested times for controlling species by treatment method (mechanical, burn, herbicide…).
  • Composting of invasive yard waste at municipal facilities – working with the Cornell Waste Management Institute (CWMI).
  • Devise effective and inexpensive decontamination methods for water flea.
  • Study of viability of hydrilla and starry stonewort out of water.
  • Phragmites has been present for a long time and continues to show up not just on lake shores but in ever smaller wet seeps. I hope we don’t give up on trying to find a solution to keep it under control while we focus on newly arrived invasive species.

Biocontrol

Advancing biocontrol agents for…

  • Swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum spp)
  • Water chestnut (Trapa natans)
  • Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria spp.)
  • Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
  • Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)
  • Hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae)
  • Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis)
  • Asian Longhorn Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis)

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Metrics & Approaches

  • Assess the effectiveness of different types of management practices in slowing the spread of select invasive species.
  • Assessing effectiveness of boat wash stations.
  • Using goats to control IS- which species do goats prefer most?

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

New & Emerging Species

Understand the impact of emerging invaders, including…

  • Starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)
  • Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus)
  • Common Frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Pathways

  • Survey and Monitor GL Ports for AIS: Supplement Existing Long-term and Focused Initiatives to Cover all NY GL Ports.
  • Needing to better understand pathways of invasion.
  • The role of associated stressors and their influence on invasive species introductions and spread: Can we predict which waterbodies and/or landscapes will be vulnerable or resilient to invasive species based on the variety of ecological and anthropogenic influences surrounding them. Are we able to create a tool that will help us delineate these areas?
  • NY Port Baseline Biological Survey:  Transport of marine species occurs primarily by shipping activities, through fouling communities attached to hulls and in ships’ ballast water and associated sediments, in sea chests and other recesses in the hull structure.
  •  NYNJ Harbor Navigation Study: Evaluate 1998-2011 Aquatic Biological Sampling Program for Detections of Aquatic Invasive Species.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Prioritization

  • Developing a three tiered invasive species priority setting model/metric for regional and statewide.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Techniques

  • Improving/developing early detection techniques: remote sensing/surveys – use of drone and aerial technology.
  • Increased the number and specificity of markers/sequence available.
  • Science behind how to survey and especially how to survey for early detection species.

(= high priority  = medium priority = low priority)

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was asked?

In 2016 and 2017, NYISRI asked New York State’s 8 PRISM Coordinators, as well as staff from iMapInvasives and the NY DEC’s Invasive Species Coordination Unit to complete a Qualtrics survey to share their research needs. 

How were priorities defined?

Importance ratings for these needs were solicited in 2018. Once priorities were collected, NYISRI staff compiled new research needs with old, and asked each participant to rate (on a scale of 0 – 3, with 3 being the highest priority) how important each research need was to address for their region.  Based on these responses, we assigned categories of high, medium, and low priority, corresponding roughly to the upper, middle, and lower third of ratings, respectively.

View a pdf version of all priorities here.