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Overarching Research Priorities

In 2006 the Invasive Species Program Area was reviewed by an external research peer panel. The panel recommended increased funding for two areas: prevention and prediction and early detection and rapid response. Quantitative risk analysis and pathway assessments will be key components of the research program. The R&D future strategy also recognizes the importance of maintaining research in two other areas: control and management and restoration and rehabilitation.

A holistic national strategy will improve sharing of expertise across research stations and encourage actions that prevent regional threats from expanding into national ones. Increased coordination with other agencies will help identify regulatory and research gaps and improve the complementary use of resources. In response to the external peer review, the R&D National Invasive Species Strategy will emphasize the following overarching research priorities:

Quantify Invasive Species’ Biology, Ecology, Interactions, and Impacts

  • Quantify genetic, ecological, and evolutional relationships among priority invasive species and ecosystems where they occur
  • Quantify ecological, social, and economic impacts of invasive species

Predicting and Prioritizing Invasive Species

  • Develop methodology for predicting which species are likely to become invasive
  • Develop science-based protocols to prioritize invasive species to help managers assess action thresholds

Identifying and Detecting Invasive Species

  • Improve invasive species detection and diagnostics technology
  • Quantify invasive patterns and processes across geographical and elevational gradients

Managing Invasive Species and Altered Systems

  • Develop more effective treatments and control or management methods for high-priority species
  • Predict interactions between multiple invasives and multiple disturbances under varying climatic scenarios