Vulnerability of lake ecosystems to species invasions in Washington

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Presented by Julian D. Olden at the Annual Meeting of the Washington Lake Protection Association (2008)

Presented by Julian D. Olden at the Annual Meeting of the Washington Lake Protection Association (2008)

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  • 1. Vulnerability ofLake Ecosystems toSpecies Invasions in Washington Julian D. Olden Eric R. Larson School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences University of Washington Seattle, WA USA olden@u.washington.edu
  • 2. Primary Threats to Washington LakesHabitat loss Invasive species EutrophicationOver-exploitation Disease Climate change
  • 3. Invasive Species in Washington• The introduction of non-indigenous plants and animals is one of today’s most pressing environmental challenges in Washington.• The magnitude of this problem has been recognized in recent decades, and state and county government agencies have responded by designing and implementing management strategies aimed at reducing the negative impacts of invasive species.• The task is daunting: landscapes to be managed are vast, there are numerous invasive species, and funding for invasive species management is limited.
  • 4. Zebra mussel Nutria Brook troutNorthAmerican bullfrog Eurasian watermilfoil Brazilian elodae New Zealand mudsnail
  • 5. The Challenge Ahead• Prevention is widely recognized as the cornerstone of most invasive species management strategies.• Once invasive establish self-sustaining populations, eradication is near impossible without high collateral damage and excessive economic costs.
  • 6. Washington Invasive Species Management (2005-2007) Total: $28,443,962WA Invasive Species Council (2008)
  • 7. The Challenge Ahead• Biological invasions continue to accelerate in Washington, and there is a need for closer integration between invasive species research and on-the-ground management.• Ecologists must provide specific guidance as to the ‘where’, ‘what’, and ‘when’ of invasive species management efforts.• Such information would assist managers in the effective allocation of limited funds and direct prevention efforts to the lakes that are considered most vulnerable to future invasions.
  • 8. Smart PreventionGuiding management efforts across vast landscapes
  • 9. Washington Lakes New aliens among us?Red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii)• Red swamp crayfish is the most widespread invasive crayfish in the United States and the world.• R-selected species: early maturation, fast growth, high fecundity Larson and Olden (in prep)
  • 10. Red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii• The invasion of red swamp crayfish have resulted in numerous ecological impacts manifested across entire lake food webs.  Macrophytes KEYSTONE SPECIES  Macroinvertebrates  Amphibians ECOLOGICAL DOMINANTS  Plant-eating birds  Fish ECOSYSTEM ENGINEERS  Turbidity, nutrients e.g., Gutierrez-Yurriat et al. (1999), Geiger et al. (2005), Gherardi and Acquistapace (2007)
  • 11. Western Washington Lake Survey Red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii Signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus Chinese mystery snail Bellamya chinensis
  • 12. Survey Results Red swamp crayfish
  • 13. Biological Supply and Schools An important vector for P. clarkii invasions?• Red swamp crayfish was observed in 3 school districts (Everett, Issaquah and Federal Way).• Elementary schools in all three districts participate in the WA State LASER program, which provides instructional materials for teaching the biology of life.
  • 14. Biological Supply and SchoolsAn important vector for P. clarkii invasions?
  • 15. Virile crayfish Orconectes virilis• First recorded presence of Orconectes virilis in western WA
  • 16. Golf CoursesAn important vector for O. virilis invasions? Big Lake Lake Ballinger Spanaway Lake
  • 17. Current Research• Development of management tools that predict the probability of invasion for red swamp crayfish, virile crayfish and Chinese mystery snail in lakes throughout western Washington.• The identification of highly vulnerable lakes will: – Inform education and management efforts – Enhance early detection and rapid response – Prioritize eradication and control efforts• Success in invasive species management requires us to engage the public in all stages of the invasion process, including prevention and control.• Examining the feasibility of whole-lake control/eradication of red swamp crayfish/virile crayfish in lakes through extensive trapping.
  • 18. Example: Rusty crayfish invasionsINTRODUCTION ESTABLISHMENT• Recreational boating and bait bucket • Rusty crayfish are predicted to occupy release are two primary transport vectors small, productive lakes that have highly for the introduction of crayfish modified shorelines Olden et al. (2006, unpubl.)
  • 19. Example: Rusty crayfish invasionsIMPACT VULNERABILITY• Invasions by rusty crayfish have been • Lake-specific vulnerability to the associated with the local extirpation of introduction, establishment and impact of two native crayfish species invasive rusty crayfish Olden et al. (2006, unpubl.)
  • 20. Example: Rusty crayfish invasions 5,164 lakes 1,350 lakes with 1+ boat landings 553 lakes that are environmental- suitable 1,255 lakes with 1+ at-risk species 358 highly vulnerability lakes
  • 21. Current Research• Development of management tools that predict the probability of invasion for red swamp crayfish, virile crayfish and Chinese mystery snail in lakes throughout western Washington.• The identification of highly vulnerable lakes will: – Inform education and management efforts – Enhance early detection and rapid response – Prioritize eradication and control efforts• Success in invasive species management requires us to engage the public in all stages of the invasion process, including prevention and control.• Examining the feasibility of whole-lake control/eradication of red swamp crayfish/virile crayfish in lakes through extensive trapping.
  • 22. Investigations of the Ecological Impacts of Invasive CrayfishLong-term Monitoring – Pine Lake
  • 23. Acknowledgements• Meryl Mims and Jeff Benca• Karl Mueller (SPMC, Western Washington University)• Craig Busack (DFW)• Chris Pearl (USGS)• 2008 WALPA Scholarship to Eric Larson