Modeling species spread at local scales as a decision-support tool for alien species management

Activity: Talk / Presentation / Podcast / WebinarOral presentation


Effective management of marine non-indigenous species can be hindered by the absence of data. We investigated whether fine-scale models of species spread could produce outputs to help make decisions on managing invasive alien species within a defined waterbody. We tracked the spread of larvae of two non-indigenous species, Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas) and Asian shore-crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) within Galway Bay, Ireland. Hydrodynamic, larval transport and habitat suitability models were combined to track larvae while accounting for relevant biological information such as spawning time, environmentally driven larval behaviour, and habitat suitability. The models were used to produce maps of predicted larval distribution and to show how larvae travelled between the different sub-bays that form Galway Bay. The differences in species spread show the value of high-resolution hydrodynamic models that can accommodate differences in larval characteristics and behaviour. These results were then considered in the context of additional biological and socio-economic information to help evaluate potential actions for managing Pacific oysters and Asian shore-crab. The outputs demonstrate how modelling IAS spread at a local level can be used as a support tool for decision-makers at a scale relevant to those carrying out the management action at multiple stages during the invasion process.
Period16 May 2023
Event titleICMB International Conference of Marine Bioinvasions
Event typeConference
Conference numberXI
LocationBaltimore, United States, MarylandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Invasive species
  • Marine ecology
  • mapping