AIS Research

A Comprehensive Regional Public Outreach Campaign on AIS
Pennsylvania Sea Grant is working with Minnesota Sea Grant, other Great Lakes Sea Grant programs, and other external partners to educate students, sportsmen, recreational boaters and the general public about aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes. Funding source: the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Fishing Tournament Organizers and Professional Anglers: Preventing the Spread of AIS by Extending AIS-HACCP
Most public information campaigns related to preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) have been directed toward recreational boaters. However, recent unpublished research and anecdotal information suggests that fishing tournaments may serve to exacerbate the transport/colonization risk posed by zooplankton and disease organisms. This project will train professional anglers and tournament organizers in preventing the spread of AIS and produce brochures and booklets to help anglers become part of a broader citizen AIS monitoring network. Funding source: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Organisms in Trade
PA Sea Grant is working with Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, Minnesota Sea Grant, and other members of the Great Lakes Sea Grant Netowork to provide education and outreach to aquarium clubs, garden societies, nurseries, landscape associations, master gardeners, teachers, and members of the general public on the organisms in trade (OIT) pathway. This pathway is a well-documented route that ha introduced AIS into the Great Lakes. These vectors include aquarium release, water garden escape, study organism release, live food and aquaculture release, and live bait. Funding Source: Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Evaluating the Risk of Non-Native Aquatic Species Range Expansions in a Changing Climate in Pennsylvania
S. Grisé-Stahlman, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, PA; Pennsylvania Sea Grant.

A significant portion of environmental change has been driven by two major stressors: climate change and aquatic invasive species (AIS). In combination, these stressors are a challenge to scientists attempting to predict their future synergistic impacts. This study explores the vulnerability of Pennsylvania’s ecosystems to the movement and introduction of AIS responding to a changing climate. It addresses which species currently south of Pennsylvania have the greatest potential to expand their ranges northward based on the temperature predictions of three IPCC emission scenarios. The USGS Non-Indigenous Species database was used to identify over 50 potential fish, plant, and invertebrate species that could pose a future threat to Pennsylvania. Natural history information, meteorological data, and an online-climate matching program were used to determine which of these species had the greatest increase in suitable climate in Pennsylvania in 2099.  Climate predicting software will then be used to generate maps, suitability indices, and other tools that will be combined into case studies for the most risky species. These case studies will supply a framework to be used on other species of interest, and will provide tools that can be used to develop proactive prevention strategies, and prioritize species of greatest risk to Pennsylvania.