"Our study goes beyond just presenting barrier options by putting numbers to how effective various barriers will be, including hydrologic separation and the currently operating electric barrier system." Marion Wittmann, the paper's lead author and University of Notre Dame scientist, said.
The Notre Dame study used expert elicitation, a process of formalizing and quantifying experts' judgments to estimate Asian carp barrier effectiveness. Federal agencies such as the U.S. EPA, NASA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of Transportation have successfully used similar expert elicitation in support of risk analysis and decision-making on issues ranging from food safety to radio-active waste management.
Experts estimated that hydrologic separation could prevent 95 to 100 percent of Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes and an electric barrier could prevent between 85 and 95 percent of introductions. Experts were much less confident about using sounds, bubbles or strobe lights to deter the invasive fish and indicated that the failure rate could be between 80 to 100 percent for these methods, when used one at a time. However, using a combination of sounds, bubbles and strobe lights could prevent 75 to 95 percent of Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan.
The study uses a method of expert elicitation designed by co-author Roger Cooke, senior fellow with Resources for the Future. Cooke's "Classical Method" weighs the opinion of each expert based on his or her knowledge and ability to judge relevant uncertainties.
"Our goal was to quantify uncertainty, not to remove it from the decision process," Cooke said.
On January 6 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) submitted to Congress the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) Report which outlined eight possible scenarios for preventing Asian carp passage through the CAWS. The report provided no comparative evaluation of the options, but did indicate that developing infrastructure to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes could take decades and cost $15 billion or more.
"Protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species eventually comes down to understanding how effective a management strategy may be, how much it will cost and what the benefits of those options are," David Lodge, director of the University of Notre Dame's Environmental Change Initiative and co-author, said. "Here we have estimated the efficiencies of various barriers without having to wait for more barrier testing and while the fish are swimming closer to the Great Lakes."
Environmental concerns are that if the Asian carp establish themselves in the Great Lakes, they will consume food sources of other fish, decimating local species.
"An important finding of this study is that knowledgeable experts identified clear differences in the likely effectiveness of some Asian carp prevention technologies as opposed to others," John Rothlisberger, co-author on the paper and aquatic ecologist with the USDA Forest Service, noted. "Physical separation stands out from the rest as having the least associated uncertainty and the highest probability of preventing the introduction of Asian carp into Lake Michigan."
This study is part of a research award from NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) to Lodge, with the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative with funds provided to the NCCOS Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research by USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Resources for the Future is an independent and nonpartisan institution devoted to research and publishing about critical issues in environmental and natural resource policy.
The U.S. Forest Service is dedicated to the conservation of natural resources, including water, fish, and wildlife, for the benefit of the American people; the creation of jobs that sustain communities; and the restoration and enhancement of natural landscapes.
Environmental Science & Technology is one of the world's top sources of information for professionals in a wide range of environmental disciplines. Environmental Science & Technology publishes research articles, policy analyses, critical reviews, correspondences and corrections and is ranked number one in total citations in the Environmental Engineering and Environmental Sciences categories as reported by the 2012 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2013).
Marion Wittmann | EurekAlert!
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research