Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata
March 31, 2021

NISC News 

NISC Senior Advisers Meeting: The Senior Advisers met via teleconference on March 25, 2021

NISC Co-Chair Senior Advisers Meeting:  The NISC Co-Chair Seniors Advisers meeting on March 9, 2021 via teleconference and discussed overall progress on the NISC FY2021 Work Plan and operations. A follow-up meeting will be held to address more strategic considerations moving forward. 

Rapid Response-Federal Agency Roles and Responsibilities:  NISC Staff are awaiting agency comments before developing a revised draft. The task team will then consider next steps to finalize the document will be scheduled once all comments are received.  

Rapid Response-Emergency Fund:  NISC Staff are awaiting agency comments before developing a revised draft. The task team will then consider next steps to finalize and clear the document will be scheduled once all comments are received.  

eDNA:  The task team met on Monday March 22, 2021 and discussed edits from the small writing group on the white paper. NISC staff are currently soliciting comments for a final draft and will work with each member agency on the task team to determine their clearance process. For the technical paper, Jeff Morisette has developed an initial response to the peer review comments and is working with a small group to address those. Aiming to resubmit to the journal next week.  

Wildland Fire and Invasive Species (NISC/WFLC):  The goals and opportunities section of the task team report has been revised for comment by the small writing group. It will then be circulated to the full task team. NISC staff is working with WFLC to draft a short update memo to NISC and WFLC co-chairs to introduce them to the partnership and give them a status update. This will likely be sent prior to the next WFLC meeting on April 8, 2021, which will include this as a brief item on the agenda. 

Information Management: NISC staff met with a small group of federal program experts on invasive species data and information on March 18, 2021, to review programs and brainstorm possible opportunities for collaboration. Discussion focused mainly on qualitative information needs and resources, the potential role of USDA National Agricultural Library's, and capacity constraints. The group discussed the need to include representation from additional federal programs to its next meeting. Please forward names of any interested individuals and initiatives to Kelsey Brantley. 

Crosscut Budget:  NISC Staff is preparing for development of the annual Crosscut Budget Report, which will include FY 2020 Actual Expenditures, b) FY 2021 Enacted Budget; and c) FY 2022 President’s Budget, for which passback occurred last week. Formal requests for data will be distributed after the President’s Budget is released and introductions between Principals and NISC Staff have taken place. 


Emerging/Ongoing Issues and News Items 

Invasive zebra mussels found in aquarium moss products (some in Kalamazoo) prompt national response (Second Wave Media): 

The creature that took control of the Great Lakes (Interlochen Public Radio): 


Policy and Law 

NAISMA Letter to Appropriations Committees:  The North American Invasive Species Management Association (NAISMA) has sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership. The letter provides invasive species-related funding recommendations for consideration during development of their respective FY 2022 appropriations bills (PDF attached).  

Water Resources Development Act of 2020 Comment Period: The USACE will utilize these comments and the existing language to develop implementation guidance for the specific provisions to the bill and move forward with carrying out the specific work based on this guidance. 

Delaware Invasive Plants Law: This Act prohibits the import, export, sale, transport, distribution, or propagation of any plant identified by the Secretary of the (Delaware) Department of Agriculture, with the advice of the Delaware Native Species Commission, as an invasive plant. This Act also requires that plants identified as potentially invasive be sold with a tag that identifies the plant as potentially invasive. A violation of this Act may result in a civil penalty of $50 to $500, but only after the person has had the opportunity for an administrative hearing and the opportunity to come into compliance with this Act. This Act takes effect July 1, 2022. 

Florida Approves Ban on Invasive Reptiles :  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FFWC) recently approved rule changes that ban possession and breeding of 16 invasive reptile species.  

FWC News Release:  

Related Washington Post Article (subscription required) 


Science and Technology 

2019 State of the Great Lakes (SOGL) Technical Report:  Released by EPA (Page 421 - Invasive Species Section.)  Two sub-indicators:  1) Rate of Introduction and 2) Impact of Invasion.  

NOTE: Impact uses a new indicator GLANSIS developed - this is the 1st report in which that appears. 

Seaplane Invasive Species Risk Analysis Notice of Funding Opportunity:  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, co-chair of the ANS Task Force, requests proposals to build upon previous studies and evaluate the risk of the seaplane pathway as a vector for AIS. This risk analysis should include two components: a risk assessment and identification of risk management actions. The risk assessment is needed to identify and quantify the range of waterbodies that are utilized by seaplanes and what AIS may be transported through this pathway. This information will be used to identify risk management actions that can be taken by seaplane operators, manufacturers, and others to reduce the spread of AIS.  The assessment should be conducted for the 48 contiguous states and Alaska. Applications should be submitted through Grant Solutions, as described in the notice. Additional application information is included in the "related documents" tab with the announcement in  Closing date:  June 4, 2021. 


Gippet, Jérôme MW, Bertelsmeier, C. 2021. Invasiveness is linked to greater success in the global pet trade. PNAS 118 (14) e2016337118,  The global pet trade may accelerate the spread of invasive species around the world, which threatens native biodiversity and impacts human economy and health. Here, using an extensive metaanalysis, we show that invasive species are strongly overrepresented across mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish traded as pets. Even in the emergent trade of ants as pets, which is too recent to be responsible for any invasions yet, we found an overrepresentation of invasive species. This indicates that the pet trade not only creates opportunities for invasions, but that it favors specifically invasive species. These findings call for the rapid implementation of strict international regulations of the trade in animals as pets. (Purchase required; see also 

Grosholz E, et al. 2021. Stage-specific overcompensation, the hydra effect, and the failure to eradicate an invasive predator. PNAS. 118:12, e2003955118; biological invasions continue to increase globally, eradication programs have been undertaken at significant cost, often without consideration of relevant ecological theory. Theoretical fisheries models have shown that harvest can actually increase the equilibrium size of a population, and uncontrolled studies and anecdotal reports have documented population increases in response to invasive species removal (akin to fisheries harvest). Both findings may be driven by high levels of juvenile survival associated with low adult abundance, often referred to as overcompensation. Here we show that in a coastal marine ecosystem, an eradication program resulted in stage-specific overcompensation and a 30-fold, single-year increase in the population of an introduced predator. Data collected concurrently from four adjacent regional bays without eradication efforts showed no similar population increase, indicating a local and not a regional increase. Specifically, the eradication program had inadvertently reduced the control of recruitment by adults via cannibalism, thereby facilitating the population explosion. Mesocosm experiments confirmed that adult cannibalism of recruits was size-dependent and could control recruitment. Genomic data show substantial isolation of this population and implicate internal population dynamics for the increase, rather than recruitment from other locations. More broadly, this controlled experimental demonstration of stage-specific overcompensation in an aquatic system provides an important cautionary message for eradication efforts of species with limited connectivity and similar life histories. 

Montoya JM, Lurgi M. 2021. Warming indirectly increases invasion success in food webs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 288:1947, Climate warming and biological invasions are key drivers of biodiversity change. Their combined effects on ecological communities remain largely unexplored. We investigated the direct and indirect influences of temperature on invasion success, and their synergistic effects on community structure and dynamics. Using size-structured food web models, we found that higher temperatures increased invasion success. The direct physiological effects of temperature on invasions were minimal in comparison with indirect effects mediated by changes on food web structure and stability. Warmer communities with less connectivity, shortened food chains and reduced temporal variability were more susceptible to invasions. The directionality and magnitude of invasions effects on food webs varied across temperature regimes. When invaded, warmer communities became smaller, more connected and with more predator species than their colder counterparts. They were also less stable and their species more abundant. Considering food web structure is crucial to predict invasion success and its impacts along temperature gradients. 

Remington TE et al. 2021. Sagebrush conservation strategy: challenges to sagebrush conservation, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1125, 327  The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) biome, its wildlife, and the services and benefits it provides people and local communities are at risk. Development in the sagebrush biome, for many purposes, has resulted in multiple and often cumulative negative impacts. These impacts, ranging from simple habitat loss to complex, interactive changes in ecosystem function, continue to accelerate even as the need grows for the resources provided by this biome. This “Sagebrush Conservation Strategy—Challenges to Sagebrush Conservation,” is an overview and assessment of the challenges facing land managers and landowners in conserving sagebrush ecosystems. This strategy is intended to provide guidance so that the unparalleled collaborative efforts to conserve the iconic greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) by State and Federal agencies, Tribes, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and stakeholders can be expanded to the entire sagebrush biome to benefit the people and wildlife that depend on this ecosystem. This report is organized into 3 parts: I. Importance of the Sagebrush Biome to People and Wildlife; II. Change Agents in the Sagebrush Biome—Extent, Impacts, and Effort to Address Them; and III. Current Conservation Paradigm and Other Conservation Needs for Sagebrush. 

Springborn MR, et al. 2020. Amphibian collapses exacerbated malaria outbreaks in Central America. Pre-Print. DOI:10.1101/2020.12.07.20245613: Ecosystems play an important role in supporting human welfare, including regulating the transmission of infectious diseases. Many of these services are not fully-appreciated due to complex environmental dynamics and lack of baseline data. Multicontinental amphibian decline due to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) provides a stark example. Even though amphibians are known to affect natural food webs—including mosquitoes that transmit human diseases—the human health impacts connected to their massive decline have received little attention. Here we show a causal link between a wave of Bd-driven collapse of amphibians in Central America and increased human malaria incidence. At the canton-level in Costa Rica and district-level in Panama, expected malaria incidence increased for eight years subsequent to amphibian losses, peaking at an additional 1.0 cases per 1,000 population (CPK). The increase is substantial in comparison to annual incidence levels from outbreaks in these countries, which peaked at 1.1-1.5 CPK during our period of study from 1976-2016. This pattern holds across multiple alternative approaches to the estimation model. This previously unidentified impact of biodiversity loss illustrates the often hidden human welfare costs of conservation failures. These findings also show the importance of mitigating international trade-driven spread of similar emergent pathogens like Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans . Significance Statement Despite substantial multicontinental collapses in amphibian populations from spread of the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the implications for humans have not been systematically studied. Amphibians are known to affect food webs, including mosquitoes that serve as a vector for the spread of disease. However, little is known about how their loss erodes ecosystem services, including the regulation of the transmission of infectious diseases. Using Central America as a case study, this study shows that Bd-driven amphibian loss led to a substantial increase in malaria incidence. The results highlight the often underappreciated social costs of biodiversity loss, including the potential stakes of ecosystem disruption from failing to stop spread of future novel pathogens. 

Sturtevant et al. A Review and Secondary Analysis of Competition-Related Impacts of Nonindigenous Aquatic Plants in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Plants. The Laurentian Great Lakes of North America are home to thousands of native fishes, invertebrates, plants, and other species that not only provide recreational and economic value to the region but also hold an important ecological value. However, there are also 55 nonindigenous species of aquatic plants that may be competing with native species and affecting this value. Here, we use a key regional database—the Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System (GLANSIS)—to describe the introduction of nonindigenous aquatic plants in the Great Lakes region and to examine patterns relating to their capacity to compete with native plants species. Specifically, we used an existing catalog of environmental impact assessments to qualitatively evaluate the potential for each nonindigenous plant species to outcompete native plant species for available resources. Despite an invasion record spanning nearly two centuries (1837–2020), a great deal remains unknown about the impact of competition by these species. Nonetheless, our synthesis of existing documentation reveals that many of these nonindigenous species have notable impacts on the native plant communities of the region in general and on species of concern in particular. Furthermore, we provide a thorough summary of the diverse adaptations that may contribute to giving these nonindigenous plants a competitive advantage. Adaptations that have been previously found to aid successful invasions were common in 98% of the nonindigenous aquatic plant species in the database. 

Risk Assessment Survey: Researchers at the University of Florida are looking for managers, analysts, and researchers who have experience with using Risk Assessments for invasive species to complete a short survey. They are interested in which tools are commonly used, and users experience with data quality, data gathering techniques, and implementation of assessments. The goal is to learn about what currently works well and what can be improved. This survey is anonymous, but results will be published in peer-reviewed literature. The survey is available at Questions can be refered to please feel free to Deah Lieurance at 


NISC  and Other Webinars 

NISC Advanced Biotechnology Community of Practice Webinar Series:  Recordings of NISC-hosted webinars listed below are available to Senior Advisers upon request:  

  • Advanced Biotechnology CoP  
    • Applications for Invasive Species Control - April 1, 2020 
    • Risk Assessment - June 3, 2020 
    • Policy and Law - August 5, 2020 
    • Public Engagement and Social Issues - October 7, 2020 
    • DOI Prize Challenge Winners - February 3, 2021 
  • Asian Giant Hornet Update – June 3, 2020  


Meeting and Conference Calendar 

(NOTE:  Events may be held virtually, rescheduled or cancelled due to COVID-19.) 


NAISMA EDDMapS Summit:  March 31 and April 1, 2021 (virtual). This first EDDMapS Summit will be focused on training and partnerships. Each day will kick off with big-picture keynotes by Mike Ielmini, National Invasive Species Program Manager for the USDA Forest Service and Steve Manning, President of Invasive Plant Control, Inc. Day 1 will focus on in-depth training on how to use the EDDMapS apps, website, data import and export tools. Day 2 will feature panel discussions from experts from across the U.S. and Canada on public engagement; using data for funding and decision making; treatment tracking and monitoring; and using data for modeling. This is a free event and is open to everyone. 

Event Registration, session overviews and agendas  

MAY 2021 

Society for the Study of Marine Bioinvasions (SSMB) International Conference XI:  Annapolis, MD, May 10-14, 2022. Hosted by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Marine Invasions Lab. Information on meeting themes, guest speakers, special events, student travel funds, and local attractions will be posted on our website over the coming months at 

2021 North American Invasive Species Forum:  May 18-20, 2021 (virtual). The North American Invasive Species Forum is an international event encompassing the interests of professionals and organizations involved in invasive species management, research, and regulation across North America. The Forum will bring together the international invasive species community and will highlight new research, emerging issues, success stories and prevention and response initiatives from across Canada, Mexico and the U.S., and also build on the previous North American Invasive Species Forum held in 2017. The Canadian Council on Invasive Species is hosting this Forum with the support of, and guidance from, an international steering committee representing the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  


JUNE 2021  

Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force (ANSTF) Meeting:  June 28-30, 2021 (virtual). The meeting will be held in the afternoon each day (ET). Details forthcoming. 


NAISMA Annual Conference:  September 27-30, 2021 (virtual and in-person). This year’s conference will focus on transboundary cooperation. The agenda to be released May 2021.  


MAY 2022 

Society for the Study of Marine Bioinvasions (SSMB) International Conference XI:  Annapolis, MD, May 10-14, 2022. Hosted by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Marine Invasions Lab. Information on meeting themes, guest speakers, special events, student travel funds, and local attractions will be posted on our website over the coming months at 

  • No labels