Bárbara Langdon1,2, David Burslem3, Paul Caplat4, Thomas Cornulier3, Laura Fasola5, Alessandra Fidelis6, Julio Lancelotti7, Lía Montti8, Martín Nuñez9, Steve Palmer3, Aníbal Pauchard1,2, Euan Phimister3, Priscila Powell10, Ignacio Rodriguez11, Ignacio Roesler12, Justin Travis3, Claudio Verdugo13, Xavier Lambin3 and the CONTAIN Consortium
1Laboratorio de Invasiones Biológicas (LIB), Facultad de Ciencias Forestales, Universidad de Concepción, Chile
2Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB), Chile
3Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Scotland
4School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University of Belfast, Ireland
5 Dirección Regional Patagonia Norte, Administración Parques Nacionales, Argentina / CONICET/ Aves Argentinas-Asociación Ornitológica del Plata.
6 Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de Biociências (Rio Claro), Universidade Estadual Paulista, Brazil
7 Centro Nacional Patagónico (IPEEC-CENPAT), Argentina / CONICET
8 CONICET-Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Buenos Aires / Instituto de Ecología Regional (IER-CONICET), Argentina
9 Grupo de Ecología de invasiones (INBIOMA-CONICET), Universidad Nacional Del Comahue, Argentina.
10 Instituto de Ecología Regional, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina / CONICET
11 Centro de Humedales Rio Cruces (CEHUM), Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile
12 Laboratory of Ecology and Animal Behavior, Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina / IEGEBA-CONICET/Aves Argentinas-Asociación Ornitológica del Plata
13 Instituto Patología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Chile
A large number of highly damaging invasive non-native species (INNS) have become established in South America. They affect native species, ecosystems and livelihoods. Many INNS are now so widespread that eradication is not an option. Their spread must be contained and their density reduced, in the long-term, in those areas where taking no action is not acceptable. This must be done as cost effectively as possible, considering questions as: by how much should INNS density be reduced, What harm would be caused in the future if no action was taken? How should the desired reduction be achieved?, Where should the species be reduced? A further important consideration is that INNS are mobile. They have been able to spread when they first invaded and can re-invade areas from which they have been removed through dispersal.
This project aims to design and introduce to stakeholders a user-friendly decision tool that hopefully will become widely used in Latin America. To make sure that the approach is relevant for different contexts in Latin America, work will be done with example species that have large impacts, and for which data already exist (invasive pines, privet, and mink). Plausible scenarios for data-poor pine species, exotic grasses and carnivorous wasps, which impact local communities in Brazil, Argentina and Chile will also be modeled. The most effective strategic management will be found using sophisticated computer simulations considering species ecology, dispersal and intervention costs in a spatial context. Where new data would most effectively reduce uncertainty on the best course of action will be identified. The problem this project aims to tackle is complex, and it will be embedded in a process of co-operative adaptive management, so that managers continually improve their effectiveness by confronting different models to data. The project will also be used as a way to build research capacity in Latin America, by training early career researchers and PhD students by means of research visits, continuous collaboration and workshops. This project will have a tangible positive and immediate impact on people and biodiversity in Latin America by delivering a step-change in the management of problematic INNS.