Distribution and Spread of Multiple Aquatic Invasive Species in Northern Wisconsin

Untitled Document
Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS): Multiple Species
Project Location: Northern Highland Lakes District, Northern WI
Project Start Date: 06/2010
Expected Timeframe/Duration: 8/2015
Sponsoring Organization: UW Center for Limnology
Web Links: http://alexlatzka.weebly.com/uploads/3/7/8/1/37811921/latzka_et_al._-_2014_-_rep...
Primary Contact: Alex Latzka
Univ. of WI Trout Lake

Secondary Contact:
Project Summary:

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are a serious issue of concern in the Northern Highland Lake District (NHLD) where lakes are dense in the landscape and recreation on lakes is an important economic activity for the area. We are investigating the distributions of different AIS in the region and predicting sites where future invasion is most likely.  The work is part of an NSF-funded project, in which we are modeling interactions among boater behavior, AIS spatial dynamics, and AIS management, and how they all relate to overall human welfare. In order to construct this bioeconomic model, it is necessary to understand AIS distributions, environmental limitations, and potential for spread. Through surveys of randomly selected lakes in the NHLD, we are attempting to develop a broad picture of where these AIS occur in the region, and how abundant they are in different lakes. These surveys include lakes with very low accessibility, which are underrepresented in existing AIS monitoring but make up a large portion of lakes in the landscape.   While some of the analyses are still being conducted, we have completed an analysis of the roles different predictors of species’ abilities to form calcium carbonate shells play in predicting their distributions.

Additionally, we have collaborated with the DNR to extend our sampling and predictions across the entire state.  Results of the combined surveys will allow us to determine how often different types of lakes are invaded by different species across the state, and how well previously existing records compare to our survey results.  Meanwhile, we are also constructing a gravity model, which uses existing data on lakes and human boater populations to predict boater movements in the region, to couple with ecological models and predict the lake-to-lake spread of different AIS. These activities should contribute valuable information to understanding invasion biology and help to facilitate optimal management. 

AIS involved in this project include: Chinese mystery snail, banded mystery snail, rusty crayfish, Eurasion watermilfoil, curlyleaf pondweed, zebra mussel, and spiny water flea.