"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!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering