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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Predicting the Potential Distribution of the Nonnative Red Swamp Crayfish Procambarus Clarkii in the Laurentian Great Lakes

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AUTHORS: Rachel M. Egly, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois; Gust Annis, The Nature Conservancy; W. Lindsay Chadderton, The Nature Conservancy; Jody A. Peters, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame; Eric R. Larson, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois

ABSTRACT: The ongoing threat of introduction of nonnative species, including crayfish, to the Laurentian Great Lakes has motivated the development of predictive models to inform where nonnative populations are likely to establish. Our study is one of the first to apply regional freshwater-specific GIS layers to species occurrence data to predict ecosystem vulnerability to invasions, specifically of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii into the Great Lakes. We combined a database of crayfish species occurrences with the Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework (GLAHF) spatial database to model habitats vulnerable to invasion by P. clarkii using a machine-learning algorithm (boosted regression trees). We developed a general model of habitat suitability identifying all suitable crayfish habitat across the Great Lakes, then constrained this habitat to areas anticipated to be suitable for P. clarkii based on its known physiology. Our model gives predictions for where P. clarkii might be able to establish in this important freshwater ecosystem, which can be used to inform management efforts to slow spread or detect new invasions.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (4)