Pathways and places associated with nonindigenous aquatic species introductions in the Laurentian Great Lakes

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15 Scopus citations


Propagule pressure (i.e., the frequency and abundance of introductions) is a common indicator of the likelihood of nonindigenous aquatic species (NAS) establishment success. Evaluating propagule pressure associated with multiple introduction pathways relative to present NAS distribution patterns may identify which pathway presents the greatest risk. Our objective was to develop and evaluate three geospatial metrics for the Laurentian Great Lakes as proxies of propagule pressure associated with three major introduction pathways: maritime commerce, organisms in trade, and water recreation. Logistic and linear regression analyses were conducted between NAS presence and introduction pathway intensity (e.g., number of vessel trips received by a port) for 23 NAS over a five-decade period (1970–2013). Notably, city population size was the best predictor of NAS presence, even for NAS introduced through ballast water discharge. Moreover, through time, city population size was an increasingly significant predictor of the presence of organisms in trade, signaling a change in both the types of organisms introduced and places where introductions are occurring. Nonetheless, all three metrics are reasonable proxies for propagule pressure and as such are applicable for risk assessment, monitoring, and control strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature.


  • Ballast water
  • Live release
  • Marinas
  • Population size
  • Propagule pressure

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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