Mechanisms of Aquatic Species Invasions across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC)

Science Center Objects

USGS scientists study the mechanisms of aquatic species invasions across the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) with the help of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS).


The Science Issue and Relevance: Invasive species are a nationwide issue causing millions of dollars in damage every year. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAS; is an incredibly useful tool for demonstrating where and when nonindigenous species, and also those deemed invasive, have been documented across the United States.  Our project represents the first attempt to utilize the NAS data within the context of a Landscape Conservation Cooperative conservation blueprint. A significant amount of effort during the project lifespan was dedicated to determining the most appropriate use of these data for the purposes of identifying the mechanisms and patterns of aquatic species invasions. Descriptive analyses were first undertaken to characterize the spatial and temporal characteristics of the SALCC subset of NAS data.

Invasive snakehead fish - WARC
Invasive snakehead fish

Methodology for Addressing the Issue: This project seeks to utilize these data along with new GIS-based data on current and future landscape and climate parameters to develop models of invasive species introductions and dispersal across the SALCC region. Both multi- and single species models will be considered in these analyses. We will then utilize a formal decision-analytic framework utilizing the results of NAS data analyses and modeling to help prioritize a set of monitoring, management and conservation strategies addressing potential future invasion pathways at the local and regional levels. This project will devote significant effort towards compiling GIS-based raster and vector data on land cover types, environmental parameters, and urban development throughout the SALCC with the NAS data.

Future Steps: USGS scientists will leverage other on-going efforts focusing on the Southeast U.S. in hopes of providing an indicator of how invasive species may be affected by conservation management actions.

Related Projects: Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database


Dorazio, R.M. 2014. Accounting for imperfect detection and survey bias in statistical analysis of presence-only data. Global Ecology and Biogeography 23(12):1472-1484.