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Aquatic invasive species: Lessons from cancer research

January 1, 2015

Aquatic invasive species are disrupting ecosystems with increasing frequency. Successful control of these invasions has been rare: Biologists and managers have few tools for fighting aquatic invaders. In contrast, the medical community has long worked to develop tools for preventing and fighting cancer. Its successes are marked by a coordinated research approach with multiple steps: prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment options and rehabilitation. The authors discuss how these steps can be applied to aquatic invasive species, such as the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus), in the Northern Rocky Mountain region of the United States, to expedite tool development and implementation along with achievement of biodiversity conservation goals.