A primer on potential impacts, management priorities, and future directions for Elodea spp. in high latitude systems: learning from the Alaskan experience
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Invasive species introductions in Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems are growing as climate change manifests and human activity increases in high latitudes. The aquatic plants of the genus Elodea are potential invaders to Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems circumpolar and at least one species is already established in Alaska, USA. To illustrate the problems of preventing, eradicating, containing, and mitigating aquatic, invasive plants in Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems, we review the invasion dynamics of Elodea and provide recommendations for research and management efforts in Alaska. Foremost, we conclude the remoteness of Arctic and Subarctic systems such as Alaska is no longer a protective attribute against invasions, as transportation pathways now reach throughout these regions. Rather, high costs of operating in remote Arctic and Subarctic systems hinders detection of infestations and limits eradication or mitigation, emphasizing management priorities of prevention and containment of aquatic plant invaders in Alaska and other Arctic and Subarctic systems.
KeywordsElodea Invasive species Fish performance Freshwater food webs Management priorities
We thank the following Alaska Pacific University students for assistance with airplane index data collection: M. Tengler, A. Benecke, R. Fox, and N. Tucker. T. Wurtz (USFS), C. Zimmerman (USGS), B. Harris (APU), three anonymous reviewers, and journal editorial staff provided input that improved an earlier draft of this manuscript. Use of product or trade names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This report was reviewed and approved by U.S. Geological Survey under their Fundamental Science Practices Policy (http://www.usgs.gov/fsp).
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