A probability co-kriging model to account for reporting bias and recognize areas at high risk for Zebra Mussels and Eurasian Watermilfoil Invasions in Minnesota

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Abstract

Zebra mussels (ZMs) (Dreissena polymorpha) and Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) (Myriophyllum spicatum) are aggressive aquatic invasive species posing a conservation burden on Minnesota. Recognizing areas at high risk for invasion is a prerequisite for the implementation of risk-based prevention and mitigation management strategies. The early detection of invasion has been challenging, due in part to the imperfect observation process of invasions including the absence of a surveillance program, reliance on public reporting, and limited resource availability, which results in reporting bias. To predict the areas at high risk for invasions, while accounting for underreporting, we combined network analysis and probability co-kriging to estimate the risk of ZM and EWM invasions. We used network analysis to generate a waterbody-specific variable representing boater traffic, a known high risk activity for human-mediated transportation of invasive species. In addition, co-kriging was used to estimate the probability of species introduction, using waterbody-specific variables. A co-kriging model containing distance to the nearest ZM infested location, boater traffic, and road access was used to recognize the areas at high risk for ZM invasions (AUC = 0.78). The EWM co-kriging model included distance to the nearest EWM infested location, boater traffic, and connectivity to infested waterbodies (AUC = 0.76). Results suggested that, by 2015, nearly 20% of the waterbodies in Minnesota were at high risk of ZM (12.45%) or EWM (12.43%) invasions, whereas only 125/18,411 (0.67%) and 304/18,411 (1.65%) are currently infested, respectively. Prediction methods presented here can support decisions related to solving the problems of imperfect detection, which subsequently improve the early detection of biological invasions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number231
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Volume4
Issue numberJAN
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 4 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Kanankege, Alkhamis, Phelps and Perez.

Keywords

  • Early detection
  • Geostatistics
  • Observation bias
  • Reporting
  • Risk assessment
  • Spatial modeling
  • Surveillance

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