Cindy Kolar(9 - Changing Climate

Climate Change & Invaders:
Sources of Uncertainty in
Managing the Great Lakes Region
Cindy Kolar
Science Advisor, Fisheries Program
USGS – Reston, VA
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
Drivers of Ecosystem Change
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005.
Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis.
Island Press, Washington, DC.
What are Invasive Species?
Executive Order 13112 (1999):
"Invasive species" means an alien species
whose introduction does or is likely to cause
economic or environmental harm or harm to
human health.
"Alien species" means, with respect to a
particular ecosystem, any species, including its
seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological
material capable of propagating that species,
that is not native to that ecosystem.
Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)
Photo: USFWS
Figure: USGS
• Decimated native fishes
• High annual cost of control:
currently $22 million/year
Photo: USFWS
Zebra & Quagga Mussels (Dreissena sp.)
Photo: USGS
• Dramatic impacts on
• Clog water intakes at a
cost of $3billion/yr
(Pimentel et al. 1999)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Photo: USGS
• Decrease biodiversity
of invertebrates
Photo: Byrd, Mississippi State University,
• Decreased native plant
Process of Species Spread
Within native range
Negative Effects
Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region
Kling, G.W., K. Hayhoe, L.B. Johnson, J.J.
Magnuson, S. Polasky, S.K. Robinson, B.J. Shuter,
M.M. Wander, D.J. Wuebbles, D.R. Zak, R.L.
Lindroth, S.C. Moser, and M.L. Wilson (2003).
Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes
Region: Impacts on our Communities and
Ecosystems. Union of Concerned Scientists,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Ecological Society
of America, Washington, D.C.
Climate Change: Temperature
 In the Great Lakes, seeing fewer days below
Water is warming twice as fast as air
Kling et al. (2003)
Temperature Increases and Trade
Commercial shipping
historically an important vector
for introducing invasive
species in the Great Lakes
Decreased ice cover will open
additional shipping routes
Allow for faster and potentially
more sea voyages
Could improve survivorship of
organisms associated with
Other Expected Climate Changes in
the Great Lakes
 Changes in water and air
temperature, water depth,
velocity, and timing
Changes in hydrologic and
fire regimes (increase in
precipitation and storms)
Longer growing season –
longer period of
Shorter winter
Result of Changing Climate
All act to alter habitat suitability for plants and
animals, native and nonnative
Shifts in community composition
Range changes of native and nonnative
Some nonnative species may become invasive
‘Winners’ and ‘losers’ will emerge
Invasive Species and Climate Change
Establishment of additional species
Established nonnative species may become
Impact of existing invasive species may
Distribution of existing invasive species
Predicting Range Shifts
Burmese Pythons
Rodda et al. (2009)
Case Study: Common Reed
(Phragmites australis)
• Tall, invasive wetland plant
that forms dense stands
• Impairs wetland functions
• Reduces biodiversity and
property values
• Limits human uses of
beaches and recreational areas
• Extremely difficult and costly
to eradicate once established
Case Study: Common Reed
(Phragmites australis)
• USGS Great Lakes Science
Center (Mazur and Kowalski) in
collaboration with Michigan Tech
Research Institute - Great Lakes
Restoration Initiative project
• Used current extent of
Phragmites and vulnerability risk
assessment to create a decision
support tool to aid managers
prioritize control efforts
Case Study: Common Reed
(Phragmites australis)
• Sampled 800 wetlands and
used satellite imagery to map
current distribution of
• Used a Geographic
Information System (GIS) and
knowledge of hydrologic
alteration, shoreline
•development, and excessive
nitrogen to develop a Habitat
Suitability Index
Phragmites Spread Potential
• Low lake levels recently have
provided opportunities
Phragmites to colonize newly
exposed areas
• Scientists simulated effects of
additional lake level declines
and the Habitat Suitability Model
to predict potential spread
Phragmites Decision Support Tool
• Vulnerability
assessment and
distribution map
available online
• Tool allows land
managers, home
owners, and other
users to access and
visualize mapping data
at a variety of scales
Tipping the Scale?
• Could climate change improve
marginal conditions for species yet to
• Case Study: Asian carp
• Bighead and silver carps
• Large-bodied planktivores
• Introduced in the 1970s
• Escaped into waterways
Bighead carp
Silver carp
Extent of Distribution
 Reproducing in about 20 states
 Nonindigenous Species Database (
Silver carp
Bighead carp
Preventing Entry into the Great Lakes
Proximity to Lakes
Michigan and Erie
Asian Carp Regional
Coordinating Committee
Factors Potentially Limiting Success
 Suitable temperature
 Availability of suitable spawning and
nursery habitat
 Sufficient available food resources
Suitable Temperature?
Mandrak and Cudmore 2004
 Maps based only on air temperature and other factors
determine where fish can live
Need 2685 degree days over 15C to mature
Might not be currently met in some Lake Superior
Affects food availability and potentially habitat
Spawning and Nursery Habitat?
 Need flowing water
to spawn (perhaps
around 100 km)
River length needed
related to
May be additional
pressure to remove
barriers to flow
Kolar et al. 2007
Food Resources?
Cooke and Hill (2010)
 Bioenergetics modeling
 Considered only planktonic food resources
 Predicted that Asian carp should do well in
parts of Lake Erie and other productive
But not in open water of Great Lakes
Increase in temperature would increase
productivity and food availability
Asian Carp and Ecosystem Services
Provisioning Services
• Water quality
• Transportation
• Navigation
• Restructuring of fish
• Recreational angling
• Commercial fishing
Regulatory Services
• Maintenance of
water quality
• Flood flow buffering
Cultural Services
• Recreation
• Tourism
• Existence values
Supporting Services
• Nutrient cycling and primary production
• Ecosystem resilience
• Habitat for native species
Asian Carp and Ecosystem Services
Three factors potentially affecting establishment and
ecological effects of Asian carp in the Great Lakes would be
exasperated by increases in temperature
Other Factors Affecting Habitat
Water depth, velocity, timing
Hydrologic and fire regimes
Physical, chemical, and biological
components of habitat
Invasive sp. advantage: habitat generalists
Response of Plants and Animals
Where species are located: range shifts
Timing of biological events: phenology
Biotic interactions: predation, competition
Nonnative Diseases & Pathogens:
Jim Winton, Western Fisheries Research Center
 Protozoan parasite
 Yukon chinook salmon
25 year Yukon temperature means
Prevalence of Ichthyophonus in the
Yukon River System
• Preventing & controlling invasive species is high priority &
• Invasive species issues are complicated by climate change,
other global changes, & associated uncertainties
• Understanding and minimizing these uncertainties will
become more important with additional environmental
• Baseline information on species distribution is critical to
future success
• Modeling predict future scenarios is important to resource
• USGS will continue to maintain & improve databases &
provide research to help managers make more informed

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