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3 thoughts on “Invasive oyster drills react differently to predators than natives

  1. After reading this report, Does Emily Grayson’s doctorial provide a real finding of fact that is beneficial environmentally or for commercial uses?

    1. I think the report raises some interesting questions about the difference between native and invasive species in general, and it answers specific questions related to marine snails. This is on the level of frontline research.

      I raised questions about the potential commercial applications, given that Emily may have come up with a way to theoretically “sort” invasive species from natives. That was not part of her paper, and whether it is practical is very far from being determined.

  2. Thanks for your question Louis,

    Understanding what makes some species successful at becoming invasive helps us protect natural and commercial resources from the damage invasive species cause. One stat I found impressive was that Taylor Shellfish told me they spent half a million dollars on oyster drill control efforts in 2009 alone. That’s control for a single invasive species (they deal with multiple) for one shellfish grower in the state. It also doesn’t factor in the opportunity cost they have incurred for having to abandon oyster beds due to infestations. Scale that up, and you can start to see why invasive species are estimated to cost billions of dollars to the national economy in prevention and control efforts as well as opportunity costs like these.

    Behavior could be another tool that we could use to control species (as Chris mentions with the scarecrow/scaredrill? metaphor). But also it’s potentially a way to prioritize species for prevention or early detection. If this pattern is true for other systems, species that don’t need to know about predators could be more dangerous than other potential invaders. We could prioritize efforts to keep them from coming, making our management dollars more efficient!

    This is why these questions are so intriguing! Often a first study like this is followed up by similar research on other species, so see if this is a broadly applicable rule, or just a limited case.

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