Portland State University. Environmental Science and Management
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Environmental Science and Management
Environmental Science and Management
1 online resource (x, 109 pages)
Introduced aquatic organisms -- Oregon -- Tenmile Lake, New Zealand mudsnail -- Environmental aspects -- Oregon -- Tenmile Lake, Boats and boating -- Maintenance and repair -- Environmental aspects, Boaters (Persons) -- Attitudes, Benthos, Food chains (Ecology)
Invasive species are second only to habitat loss as a leading cause of native species displacement and the management of invasive species costs hundreds of billions annually. Invasion is often conceptualized as a series of stages (Transport, Introduction, Establishment, and Spread), which encourages ecologists to isolate factors that might enable a species to pass from one stage to another and therefore guide prevention or impact management. This thesis addresses each stage of invasion and attempts to determine where management might succeed in preventing invasion or minimizing impacts. The transport and introduction of aquatic invasive species (AIS) was analyzed by conducting a three tier human subjects survey at Tenmile Lake, Oregon over a two year period in which a public boat wash station was built and installed. Assessing boater knowledge of AIS and understanding proper boat cleaning procedure is useful in determining the threat of transport and introduction as overland boater movements is a major vector of AIS. The comparison between pre- and post- boat wash surveys indicate that there is a disconnect between what boaters say they will do and how they actually behave. While 75.9% of boaters from the pre-survey claimed they would use a boat wash station at Tenmile Lake, only 38.5% of post-survey boaters were observed using the station. Furthermore, the surveys identified knowledge gaps of boaters' awareness of AIS. More than 20.0% of boaters surveyed could not verbally name any AIS. To better understand the establishment and spread stages of invasion, I examined the influence of a specific AIS, the New Zealand mud snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum; NZMS), on benthic food webs throughout three very different aquatic ecosystems (lakes, rivers, and estuaries). Samples of benthic lake, river, and estuarine invertebrates were collected, identified, and counted, and stable isotope analyses (SIA) were conducted on several components of the food web. NZMS densities were found to be dynamic, with population densities fluctuating over time and between locations. A significant negative relationship between NZMS density and community diversity across all ecosystems was found. However, the densities of specific feeding groups had varying positive (omnivores) and negative (herbivores) correlations with NZMS densities. Furthermore, SIA indicated that NZMS don't appear to be competing with native macroinvertebrates for the same food source. NZMS were found to have different influences on each invaded ecosystem, thus management of this particular AIS is difficult once established and spreading. The results of this thesis suggest that prevention of the transport and introduction of NZMS needs to be the focus for future management. Preventative management should include public outreach regarding AIS and proper boat cleaning procedure, and management should also emphasize the need for regional policies and regulations on the transport of AIS rather than site or state specific policies and regulations.
Cimino, Samuel Anthony, "An Investigation of Invasion: Boater Knowledge Concerning Aquatic Invasive Species and the Influence of the New Zealand Mud Snail on Benthic Food Webs" (2016). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2992.