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Tuesday, January 30 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
ASIAN CARP & OTHER AQUATIC INVASIVES: Combining Invasive Species Risk Assessments with Climate Change Scenarios to Predict Future Invaders in the Great Lakes

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AUTHORS. Victoria A. Prescott, Loyola University Chicago; Reuben P. Keller, Loyola University Chicago

ABSTRACT. Invasive species and climate change are two of the largest threats to biodiversity and ecosystem function across the Midwest. As climates change the risk of invasive species will also change, with different species likely to establish and spread. Despite this, few invasive species risk assessments incorporate climate change scenarios, limiting their potential to effectively predict and respond to invasion risks. Incorporating climate change into risk assessment is especially important for regions such as the Great Lakes Basin that are under constant threat of invasion, and where further spread of existing invaders is likely. Using two climate change scenarios based on intermediate and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions throughout this century, we have examined the climate similarity between predicted Great Lakes’ future climates and the native ranges of species previously assessed for invasion in the Great Lakes. Preliminary results suggest that some aquatic species which were previously evaluated as having a low potential for invasion have strong invasion potential due to climate change. We also found that some species will have reduced potential to invade under future climates. This study shows that incorporating climate change projections into invasive species risk assessments may lead to better policy and management guidance for the Great Lakes Basin. In particular, more accurate risk assessment tools that include climate scenarios will allow policy-makers and managers to better prioritize limited available resources.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 1:20pm - 1:40pm CST