Great Lakes investigation team

Integrated Stewardship of Great Lakes Coastal Wetlands

Early response is required for cost effective management of invasive species. However, early intervention strategies for newly-invaded ecosystems are understudied. We integrated remote sensing, restoration ecology, and anthropological research to identify effective early response strategies for exotic plants in the Great Lakes. We performed our research in culturally-important wetlands of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians in northern Michigan. We developed a new method to identify new invasions using object-based analysis of multi-temporal RapidEye satellite imagery. We tested alternative intervention strategies using in-situ experiments, and found that newly-invaded wetlands retain high coverage of native plants, and early intervention may exacerbate the invasion. We interviewed tribal members, and found a wide range of perceptions about invasive species that could inform future interventions. Our project identifies integrated approaches to steer changing ecosystems on sustainable trajectories.


Matt Unitis and Jodi Brandt, Boise State

Eric Clark and Joseph Lautenbach, Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Nicholas Reo, Dartmouth College

Shane Lishawa and Brendan Carson, LUC

Jason Tallant, University of Michigan

Dennis Albert, Oregon State

Beth Lawrence, University of Connecticut


Funding and Sponsorship:

EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Michigan Invasive Species Program

Dartmouth Neukom Fellowship