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Hemimysis anomala

Recommendations from the Rapid Research Response Planning Meeting

January 11, 2007

Hosted by the NOAA National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species (NCRAIS), Ann Arbor, Michigan

Closeup image of Hemimysis
Photo by Steve Pothoven, NOAA

The Ponto-Caspian mysid shrimp, Hemimysis anomala (G.O. Sars, 1907) has invaded the Great Lakes. On January 11, 2007 the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), in conjunction with the NOAA National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species (NCRAIS), hosted a NOAA-University of Michigan Great Lakes Seminar series presentation by GLERL scientist Steve Pothoven on the discovery of this species in the Great Lakes. In order to reach as wide an audience as possible, the USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) provided and facilitated a web-cast and conference phone capability for the seminar. As a result, in addition to attendees in the local GLERL Conference Room, there were 27 participants via the web-cast and an additional 8 participants on the conference phone.

During the afternoon following the seminar, NCRAIS hosted an open “rapid research response” planning meeting that was also facilitated by the GLNPO conference phone capability. There were approximately 12 local attendees and another ~10-12 on the phone, including several Canadian participants.

Three initial research needs were identified and are listed below, roughly in order of priority. All three should be considered interdependent.

Research Needs

1. Develop and organize a multi-institutional basin-wide Hemimysis Monitoring Network to rapidly search for, map the distribution of, and provide information about the species. NCRAIS will organize and coordinate a Great Lakes-wide network involving three interconnected components:

2. One of the important needs and uses for a rapid survey and longer-term monitoring program is that as locations with populations are identified, that information can be provided to the shipping industry (domestic and saltwater fleet representatives) and the boating public (marinas, sport fishing associations, etc) to be added to their already existing programs aimed at minimizing their roles in the spread of new AIS by avoiding movement of water from infested locations.

The monitoring/survey program will include inland lakes, since there is great potential for Hemimysis to reach inland lakes via recreational boats and bait buckets, especially those close to the Great Lakes and their harbors and embayments.

3. Assess the vectors involved in the introduction and (potential) spread of Hemimysis to and within North America. This information will guide monitoring, help predict how and where it may spread outside the basin, and direct efforts to prevent or minimize expansion. The Hemimysis anomala invasion of the Great Lakes also poses a unique opportunity to study early invasion history, contributing to the science of invasion biology/ecology and identifying vulnerabilities in our efforts to prevent the introduction and spread of AIS in general. This would involve a combination of monitoring, mapping, and genetic studies.

4. Predict the ecological impacts of Hemimysis anomala in the Great Lakes region. Early assessment of potential impacts, particularly to ecosystem services enjoyed by humans, is a key step in determining the relative priority which should placed on any new invader. The potential impact drives human interest in, funding for, and cooperation with monitoring and control efforts. Further, while the vectors, range expansion, and population densities of a new invader all play a role in determining impact, its potential to exploit certain habitats and food web niches, and to adjust to competitors and predators also drive its capacity to expand its range and increase population density. Thus research into the physiology, life history and ecology of Hemimysis anomala may help to guide monitoring efforts and understanding of the vectors involved in potential spread.

A list of interested persons and organizations was compiled and will be expanded as opportunities allow.

The first activities, which are proceeding with existing resources, include:

For more information, contact:
Dr. Rochelle Sturtevant ()
NOAA National Center for Research on Aquatic Invasive Species
Ann Arbor, MI 48108-9719