Invasive Species Research 2019: Scientific Papers, Advice on Data, and U.S. National Parks

Why are invasive species able to proliferate? What are the consequences of their spread? With new species entering North America every day, invasive species managers have a lot of questions — and researchers are responding with information.

Why are invasive species able to proliferate? What are the consequences of their spread? And how is NAISMA positioning its programs to help invasive species managers do their job? With new species entering North America every day, invasive species managers have a lot of questions.

You’ll find new answers after giving a quick read of the latest research on invasive species. Researchers are making sense of everything from invasive species life cycles to the impact of invasive species on the ecosystem and atmosphere. 

Scientific Studies

Here are three studies published in the past few months that may help inform your invasive species management:


  • Invasive species impact on carbon sequestration
    Scientists have found that non-native invasive insects and diseases are reducing the amount of carbon stored in trees across the United States.

  • Picky pathogens help non-native tree species invade
    Trees have many natural enemies, including pathogens that have evolved to attack certain tree species. Invasive tree species — even ones that are very closely related to native trees — are often not attacked by these pathogens and can thrive.

  • Asian longhorned beetle larvae eat plant tissues that their parents cannot
    Despite the buzz in recent years about other invasive insects that pose an even larger threat to agriculture and trees — such as the spotted lanternfly, the stink bug and the emerald ash borer — Penn State researchers have continued to study another damaging pest, the Asian longhorned beetle.

These findings echo sessions we hosted with the New York Invasive Species Research Institute at our 2019 Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs.

Improving Access to Data

Improving access to data is a hot topic and serious need in environmental research and policy. Last month, NAISMA’s President-Elect and EDDMapS coordinator Chuck Bargeron co-authored the article “Enabling decisions that make a difference: guidance for improving access to and analysis of invasive species information.” In it, the authors summarize the history and best practices of biological data exchange and urge the use of consistent formatting, field definitions, and data types in reporting invasive species occurrence data, advising that data “be exportable and fully compatible with the North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA 2018) mapping standard format.”


Invasive Species in National Parks, and How NAISMA + PlayCleanGo Can Help

More than half of all the U.S. National Parks face threats from invasive species. The New York Times, PBS NewsHour and other media have raised the profile of invasive species and the National Park Service’s ability to keep invasive species, particularly animal species, out of National Parks. The National Park Service has formed a panel of experts to suggest solutions — the first time the service has organized a coordinated, nationwide effort to manage non-native, invasive animals and diseases. 

NAISMA’s partnership with the National Park Service on PlayCleanGo will improve NPS’s ability to keep invasive species from spreading into and out of National Parks. Read our Letter from the President for more on this and other agreements on North American invasive species outreach and management.

Make an impact with a NAISMA membership

Help prevent the detrimental impacts of invasive species to North America’s lands and waters by sharing your experience with members across the continent.

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