Impacts from biological invasions are especially prevalent in freshwaters. Conventional approaches to managing invaders such as prevention, control, or eradication can be variably effective, difficult to implement, or socially undesirable.
Researchers propose a new alternative to managing invasive species called “managing impact modifiers” (MIM), which focuses on managing impacts rather than controlling the invader directly. In a literature review of the world's worst invasive freshwater fishes, researchers show there is strong evidence to support the potential for MIM as an effective means of managing impacts of invasions. Authors detail three case studies where MIM could be a viable option and note that effective application could involve significant investment in information gathering to identify impact modifiers and the means to manage them. Accordingly, MIM is best incorporated into management plans that include a strong learning or adaptive component. Ultimately, MIM may be one of the only viable alternatives for managing invasive species that are truly out of control.
Dunham, J.B., Arismendi, I., Murphy, C.A., Koeberle, A., Olivos, J.A., Pearson, J., Pickens, F., Roon, D.A., Stevenson, J. 2020. What to do when invaders are out of control? WIRES Water. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1476