Invasive Species and Disease

Science Center Objects

USGS provides fisheries research information to restore and enhance fish habitat and understand fish diseases. Endangered species and those that are imperiled receive special research interest. Aquatic Invasive Species research is aiding in early detection and control measures, as well as understanding impacts these invaders have on aquatic environments.

Learn more about our research by visiting the web pages below.

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Disease

Thiaminase in the Lower Food-web: Spatial and Temporal Trends, and Potential Impacts on Growth and Survival of Juvenile Fish

Science Center: Columbia Environmental Research Center

Early life stage mortality in salmonines of the Great Lakes continues to be problematic. Thiamine deficiency, related to the thiaminase content of planktivorous alewives, has been causally linked to early-life stage mortality. The factors responsible for spatial and temporal differences in thiaminase in the food web that influence thiaminase in alewives are unidentified.

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Diagnostic Biomarkers of Thiamine Deficiency in Trout

Science Center: Columbia Environmental Research Center

Early mortality syndrome (EMS) is an embryonic mortality that impacts salmonine populations in the Great Lakes. In the early 1990s, EMS caused catastrophic levels of mortality (60-90%) in the Great Lakes basin. More recently, EMS has been diagnosed in more than 70% of salmon monitored. EMS severely impairs stocking of introduced salmonines and likely contributes significantly to failure in rehabilitation of lake trout in Lakes Michigan and Ontario.

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Disease and Environmental Stress

Science Center: Leetown Science Center

By studying aquatic wildlife both in their natural habitat and under controlled laboratory conditions, we further our understanding of the many factors and environmental stressors that interact to produce disease in these animals.

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Western Fish Health and Disease

Science Center: Western FIsheries Research Center

The fish disease research program at WFRC includes a mix of both basic and applied science focused on understanding the factors that control the distribution and severity of infectious diseases affecting both wild and hatchery fish. 

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Transformation methods for the glochidia of the spectaclecase mussel Cumberlandia monodonta

Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center

In vitro transformation of glochidia is an alternative method for production of juveniles that has been successful for over 40 species unionids; but has not been reported for the spectaclecase. One of the major obstacles to successful in vitro transformation of glochidia is contamination from microorganisms, particularly fungus

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Invasive Species

Statistical Models for the Design and Analysis of Environmental DNA (eDNA) Surveys of Invasive and Imperiled Species

Science Center: Wetland and Aquatic Research Center

Detecting invasive species at low densities or prior to population establishment is critical for successful control and eradication. 

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Western Waters Invasive Species and Disease Research Program

Science Center: Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Western waters support some of the most intact aquatic ecosystems in North America, yet invasive species (plants, wildlife) and emerging infectious diseases (EID) pose significant and immediate threats to these ecosystems. Ongoing habitat loss, increased transportation and transmission pathways, and climate change will facilitate further expansion in the coming decades.

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An investigation of aquatic invasive species in pristine sites in the Greater Yellowstone Area

Science Center: Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are aquatic organisms that move into ecosystems beyond their natural, historic range and cause severe and irreversible damage to the habitats they invade. Most AIS arrive as a direct result of human activity, such as boating and angling. The threat of AIS introduction is especially high in the Greater Yellowstone Area, as humans from all over the world come to see the natural features and wildlife of the region.

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Experimental suppression of invasive lake trout: Implications for conservation of imperiled bull trout in Glacier National Park

Science Center: Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

After 14,000 years of dominance, Glacier National Park’s (GNP) greatest native aquatic predator is at high risk of extirpation (local extinction) in several lakes on the western slopes of the Continental Divide. The decline of threatened bull trout in GNP is directly attributed to the invasion and establishment of nonnative lake trout, which consistently displace bull trout in systems where lake trout have been introduced.

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Aquatic Invasives

Science Center: Western FIsheries Research Center

One of the most important factors for controlling invasive species are the vectors by which they are disseminated. Although there are several vectors for non-indigenous marine species such as aquaculture, recreational boats, and public aquaria, the most important vector is ballast water carried in commercial ships.

 

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