Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Integrating across knowledge systems to drive action on chronic biological invasions.

Abstract

Designing and implementing long-term management strategies for chronic biological invasions is amongst the most vexing ecological research problems. Two key challenges to resolving this problem are: (a) integrating science-based and values-based (e.g. spiritual, cultural, economic and ethical) knowledge sources and (b) developing durable knowledge generation and curation platforms to co-ordinate long-term research efforts. We begin by identifying knowledge sources (stakeholder values, forecasts of invader spread and impacts, management technologies and operational logistics) to guide the high-level actions (governance framework design, selection of ethical management technologies, definition of long-term objectives, design of management strategies and operational plans implementing strategies) required for management of chronic invasions. We use exotic conifer invasions in New Zealand as an example. Next, we propose a transdisciplinary knowledge ecology framework where each knowledge source is represented by a separate knowledge generation and curation platform (i.e. knowledge ecosystem) and linked through high-level actions. We detail the structure and function of a single knowledge ecosystem (forecasting spread and impacts), and document two case studies to illustrate how knowledge ecosystems might (a) increase participation of individual researchers within long-term research efforts, and (b) facilitate inclusion of non-researchers in developing a common knowledge base. Finally, we propose a set of guidelines for combining science-based and values-based reasoning in decision-making via localised governance structures. We suggest that viewing knowledge ecologies as an integrated collection of distinct knowledge ecosystems offers a promising approach for identifying, generating, curating and integrating the knowledge sources needed to improve management of chronic biological invasions.