Amy Benson of the U.S. Geological Survey, Southeast Ecological Science Center, provided me with an update on one of the SALCCs ongoing projects entitled “Mechanisms of Aquatic Species Invasions Across the SALCC.” This project, which builds off the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (NAS) database as well as several GIS-based data, will provide predictions of current and future distributions of NAS and provide estimates of the benefits of future conservation and management strategies. Ms. Benson has provided the following progress report for this project:

“The first objective of the project is to determine the most appropriate use of Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database (NAS).  Certain aspects of the NAS presence-only database such as species composition, data abundance by species, data sources, and data collectors were characterized for analysis to help with our approach for this project.  Because the NAS database is supported greatly by scientific literature, the next step was to review this literature to ascertain any presence/absence data for comparison to the NAS presence-only data.  Three studies were found in or just outside the SALCC boundary.  In these three studies, 12 species of fish were noted as non-native to the waters from which they were collected.  These data were mapped and a presence/absence GIS was built.  From the NAS database, location information on these 12 species throughout the US was then mapped.  As part of the work plan, data mining from states within the SALCC are ongoing to augment both presence-only and presence/absence data.”

As the spread and dispersal of NAS species can have major impacts on natural, cultural and socioeconomic resources, the end results of this study will provide a valuable guide for resource managers and future conservation actions across the SALCC. You can learn more about this project by >>clicking here.