Network for Biological Invasions and Dispersal Research
The spread and impact of introduced species is one of the most important applied problems in ecology. In North America, invasive exotic species are widespread. Associated costs are immense, exceeding $100 billion US per year (Pimentel, D et al, BioScience 50:53-65 (January 2000)). Our project develops local research collaborations between academics, government and industry to suggest new methods for both preventing invasions and managing existing invasion problems. Resulting local research groups from across Canada will form an informal "Invasions Network" of researchers under the Mprime research project umbrella.
The project currently focuses on several problems:
- crop colonization by the Colorado Potato Beetle,
- interactions between sea ducks and mussel aquaculture,
- predation mediated dispersal of scallops and its impact on aquaculture,
- dispersal of Codling Moths and Cherry Fruit Flies in orchards,
- spread of a transgenic gene in apple orchards by Honeybees,
- dispersal of Salmonids in river systems.
The broad problem of biological invasions can be broken into two areas
- prediction: when, how large, what costs.
- control: how can costs and damages be limited
Our project intends to focus on both prediction and control. Our problem is to develop protocols for managing existing invasions and for quickly identifying and responding to new outbreaks.