Effects of climate change on aquatic invasive species and implications for management and research

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Global change stressors, including climate change and variability and changes in land use, are major drivers of ecosystem alterations. Invasive species, which are non-native species that cause environmental or economic damages or human-health impacts, also contribute to ecosystem changes. The interactions between stressors and invasive species, although not well understood, may exacerbate the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, and likewise, climate change may enable further invasions. This report reviews available literature on climate-change effects on aquatic invasive species (AIS) and examines state-level AIS management activities. Data on management activities came from publicly available information, was analyzed with respect to climate-change effects, and was reviewed by managers. This report also analyzes state and regional AIS management plans to determine their capacity to incorporate information on changing conditions generally, and climate change specifically. Although there is no mandate that directs states to consider climate change in AIS management plans, state managers can consider predicted effects of climate change on prevention, control, and eradication in order to manage natural resources effectively under changing climatic conditions. Further scientific research and data collection are needed in order to equip managers with the tools and information necessary to conduct effective AIS management in the face of climate change.

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