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Improving invasive species management by integrating priorities and contributions of scientists and decision makers

Abstract

Managing invasive species is a major challenge for society. In the case of newly established invaders, rapid action is key for a successful management. Here, we develop, describe and recommend a three-step transdisciplinary process (the “butterfly model”) to rapidly initiate action for invasion management. In the framing of a case study, we present results from the first of these steps: assessing priorities and contributions of both scientists and decision makers. Both scientists and decision makers prioritise research on prevention. The available scientific knowledge contributions, however, are publications on impacts rather than prevention of the invasive species. The contribution of scientific knowledge does thus not reflect scientists’ perception of what is essentially needed. We argue that a more objective assessment and transparent communication of not only decision makers’ but also scientists’ priorities is an essential basis for a successful cooperation. Our three-step model can help achieve objectivity via transdisciplinary communication.

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Acknowledgements

We thank all workshop participants and organisers, Catherine Cornaz for assistance with the literature review, Hannes Weigt, Philipp Mayer and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This project was funded by a special grant from the Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland, the Research Centre for Sustainable Energy and Water Supply (FoNEW), the canton BS, plus cantonal lottery funds of AG, BL, SO. The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Anouk N’Guyen, Philipp E. Hirsch or Patricia Burkhardt-Holm.

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Anouk N’Guyen and Philipp E. Hirsch shared first authorship.

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N’Guyen, A., Hirsch, P.E., Adrian-Kalchhauser, I. et al. Improving invasive species management by integrating priorities and contributions of scientists and decision makers. Ambio 45, 280–289 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-015-0723-z

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Keywords

  • Conservation managers
  • Decision makers
  • Invasive species
  • Round goby
  • Strong objectivity
  • Transdisciplinary