Coupling ecological and social network models to assess “transmission” and “contagion” of an aquatic invasive species

Journal of Environmental Management
By: , and 



Network analysis is used to address diverse ecological, social, economic, and epidemiological questions, but few efforts have been made to combine these field-specific analyses into interdisciplinary approaches that effectively address how complex systems are interdependent and connected to one another. Identifying and understanding these cross-boundary connections improves natural resource management and promotes proactive, rather than reactive, decisions. This research had two main objectives; first, adapt the framework and approach of infectious disease network modeling so that it may be applied to the socio-ecological problem of spreading aquatic invasive species, and second, use this new coupled model to simulate the spread of the invasive Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) in a reservoir network in Southeastern Nebraska, USA. The coupled model integrates an existing social network model of how anglers move on the landscape with new reservoir-specific ecological network models. This approach allowed us to identify 1) how angler movement among reservoirs aids in the spread of B. chinensis, 2) how B. chinensisalters energy flows within individual-reservoir food webs, and 3) a new method for assessing the spread of any number of non-native or invasive species within complex, social-ecological systems.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Coupling ecological and social network models to assess “transmission” and “contagion” of an aquatic invasive species
Series title Journal of Environmental Management
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.12.012
Volume 190
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 9 p.
First page 243
Last page 251
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