Incorporating climate change into invasive species management: insights from managers
Invasive alien species are likely to interact with climate change, thus necessitating management that proactively addresses both global changes.However, invasive species managers’ concerns about
the effects of climate change, the degree to which they incorporate climate change into their management, and what stops them from doing so remain unknown. Therefore, we surveyed natural resource managers addressing invasive species across the U.S. about their priorities, concerns, and management strategies in a changing climate. Of the 211 managers we surveyed, most were very concerned about the influence of climate change on invasive species management, but their organizations were significantly less so. Managers reported that lack of funding and personnel limited their ability to effectively manage invasive species, while lack of information limited their consideration of climate change in decision-making. Additionally, managers prioritized
research that identifies range-shifting invasive species and native communities resilient to invasions and climate change. Managers also reported that this information would be most effectively communicated through conversations, research summaries, and meetings/symposia. Despite the need for more information, 65% of managers incorporate climate change into their invasive species management through strategic planning, preventative management, changing treatment and control, and increasing education and outreach. These results show the potential for incorporating climate change into management, but also highlight a clear and pressing need for more targeted research, accessible science communication, and two-way dialogue between researchers and
managers focused on invasive species and climate change.