Improving Invasion Policy Implementation

Emilia Rybak

When it comes to dealing with invasive species, invasive species policy and management must be implemented to ensure that invasion is both effectively controlled and prevented. In “Biological Invasions: Recommendations for U.S. Policy and Management,” Lodge et al. (2006) propose six actions necessary in successfully performing invasion management and prevention, such as techniques to manage commercial pathways and providing funding for programs to slow invasion.

Some of these actions can be directly applied to the Chinese mitten crab invasion across the US. For example, Lodge et al. suggest that diagnostic technologies should be used to monitor invasive species in order to enable efficient responses to invasions. In an effort to develop new management methods for the Chinese mitten crab, scientists have attempted to locate larvae patches and insert tracking devices to examine the crab’s movement. These devices would allow scientists to determine larval trajectories in estuarine and marine water. (Dittel and Epifanio 2009).) In the case of the Chinese mitten crab, using technology would improve invasion management because knowledge of the movement patterns of its larvae would enable scientists to confine increasing crab populations before they can fully develop. Thus, I think that although it still has more room for advancement, the use of new technology may serve as an effective strategy of invasion management in the future.

Also, Lodge et al. recommend the use of more quantitative techniques for risk assessment. Risk analysis methods that have been used for the Chinese mitten crab include genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP). This method uses mathematical rules to create an ecological niche model for the crab and examines the environmental conditions that allow the populations’ survival. The value of the GARP method was demonstrated in a study by Herborg et al., which found that large estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay were at risk. (Herborg et al. 2007) A month later, new discoveries of the crab had been confirmed in these bodies of water. (Alexander, 2007) Therefore, I think Lodge et al.’s six recommendations are potentially effective ways to both control and prevent invasion, as evidenced by current  methods being implemented against Chinese mitten crab invasion.

Alexander, David. “Crab Discovery Worries Chesapeake Bay Researchers.” The Epoch Times. 2007. <>. Viewed 2 Mar. 2010.

Dittel, Ana I., and Charles E. Epifanio. “Invasion biology of the Chinese mitten crab Eriochier sinensis: A brief review.” Web of Science. 12 May 2009. Web. < 1&doc=1>. Viewed 18 Feb. 2010.

Leif-Matthias Herborg, Christopher L. Jerde, David M. Lodge, Gregory M. Ruiz, Hugh J. MacIsaac (2007) Predicting invasion risk using measures of introduction effort and environmental niche models. Ecological Applications: Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 663-674.

Lodge, D.M. , S. Williams, H. MacIsaac, K. Hayes, B. Leung, L. Loope, S. Reichard, R.N. Mack, P.B. Moyle, M. Smith, D.A. Andow, J.T. Carlton, and A. McMichael. Biological invasions: recommendations for policy and management (Position Paper for the Ecological Society of America). Ecological Applications 16:2034-2054.

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