Management Plan: An Action Plan for the Nation - Research
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Plan for the Nation - Research
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Summary] | [Introduction] | [Survey of Federal Roles & Responsibilities]
| [An Action Plan for the Nation]
| [Conclusion] | [Appendices]
| Prevention | Detection
| Control | Restoration
International | Research | Info
Management | Education
Research supports each aspect
of the Plan. Research assists policy makers in assessing gaps
in authority and program policy, and it supports invasive species
resource optimization, prioritization, and public outreach efforts.
Additionally, research increases the effectiveness of a wide
range of invasive species efforts carried out by Federal, State,
local and tribal governments and the private sector. Although
progress continues, research challenges also expand as new invasive
species issues come to light. The growing demand for research
is also increasing the need for trained personnel, such as taxonomists
who can help identify species.
Complementary research projects
ranging from basic investigations with broad application to highly
targeted applied efforts are required. Basic research needs include:
gaining a more thorough understanding of invasive processes and
factors that affect those processes; an improved ability to assess
the risk of a non-native species becoming invasive; development
of a more comprehensive understanding of the consequences of
invasions on ecological, agricultural, economic, animal health,
human health, and social systems; and improving the ability to
predict new or expanding pathways of invasion. More applied research
needs include: developing and testing enhanced environmentally
sound invasive species control and restoration methods; developing
better methods and technologies for managing invasion pathways
such as ballast water and horticultural materials; improving
the ability to assess and monitor invasive population parameters
on appropriate spatial and temporal scales; and developing enhanced
means to collect and more fully utilize data obtained and improve
research support for cooperative efforts. Where appropriate,
Federal research outcomes will be transferred to Federal, State,
local, tribal and private sector stakeholders for their utilization.
The CENR of the National Science
and Technology Council (NSTC) identified invasive species research
as a priority focus area within integrated ecosystems research.
CENR indicated that while the scientific capacity to address
many research needs exists, core research programs are substantially
under-funded. Adequately funding Federal, State, and academic
research is critical. CENR stresses the importance of sustaining
long-term research focused upon priorities identified by Federal,
State, local, tribal government and private sector stakeholders.
Additionally, the need to strengthen core research efforts was
emphasized to build a thorough understanding of invasion biology
and an enhanced capacity to predict invasiveness. CENR indicated
the need for research coordination and cooperation among Federal
agencies and for increased standardization to facilitate data
management and utilization.
- By July 2001, the
Council, in coordination with FICMNEW, SI, the ANSTF, and CENR,
will prepare a catalog of existing aquatic and terrestrial control
methods (e.g., by taxon and ecoregion) and propose strategies
to determine their effectiveness in different U.S. habitats,
including recommended cost and effectiveness monitoring protocols
for use by field personnel. The catalog should include the following:
a. Validation methods to measure
and report removal efficiency, cost-effectiveness, safety, and
practicality under real-world conditions.
b. Treatments and effectiveness
c. Adaptive management measures
for field personnel that base predictive models for invasiveness
and priority setting on clearly delineated factors that may affect
invasiveness, such as biological and ecological factors.
- By December 2001,
the Council co-chair agencies, in cooperation with the NSF and
the SI, will develop and implement a plan to:
a. Strengthen international research
collaborations to study the biological, social, and economic
aspects of invasive species ecology and management, as well as
develop and test monitoring and control technologies and strategies.
b. Identify and strengthen opportunities
to exchange scientists between the United States and other countries
to improve their training in technologies and techniques (especially
taxonomic identification) concerning invasive species.
- By July 2002, the
Council, SI, and NSF, utilizing input from CENR, will establish
and coordinate a long- and short-term research capacity ranging
from basic to applied research on invasive species. This initiative
will build on existing efforts that reflect a range of perspectives
and program approaches. It will address research, monitoring,
information sharing (including mapping), assessment, control,
and restoration. It will identify personnel and resources needed
to sustain fundamental research and tactical or field-level scientific
support which include:
a. Improvement of Federal agency
core research capabilities.
b. Enhancement of current competitive
grants programs and mechanisms for cooperative support of research
by public and private universities, Federal and State governments,
and the private sector to complement core research capabilities.
- As part of the cross-cut
budget proposal for FY 2003, the Council will include an initiative
to adequately fund Federal invasive species research programs.
The Council (including research agencies within Council departments)
will prepare the initiative in consultation with the ISAC, SI,
NSF, CENR, and other stakeholders. The proposal will address
research issues such as:
a. The ability of a species to
be invasive in a region is an important predictor of whether
that species will become invasive in other regions/countries
that contain similar habitats. Investigations will be conducted
in source and receiving countries to determine parameters, such
as biological, economic, cultural, and ecological factors, that
may affect their susceptibility to new invasions.
b. Investigate "lag period"
invasive processes that occur between initial introduction, establishment,
and invasion outbreaks and assess the value of using epidemiological
approaches to support monitoring, control, restoration, and eradication
efforts. Additionally, enhance the ability to rapidly identify
effective environmentally sound control methods for targets of
rapid response efforts that are conducted at critical points
in the invasive process.
c. Determine how and to what
extent invasive species affect populations of native species,
endangered and threatened species, habitats, animal health, human
health, and native species biodiversity.
d. Determine how and to what
extent invasive species alter ecosystem (e.g., water quality,
hydrology, nutrient cycling, and disturbance regimes such as
fire cycles), agricultural, economic, and social processes.
e. Develop and test monitoring
and control protocols, methods, tools, and strategies to support
the prevention of introduction and spread, rapid response, restoration
and containment strategies, including the evaluation of impacts
from management activities.