Off the Menu: What Invasive Species Biologists Can Learn from Cancer Research

August 23, 2012

The American bullfrog is invasive in Montana. Bob Zellar/The Billings Gazette


A recent paper in American Scientist shows how the established approach to cancer treatment–prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation–can be applied to aquatic invaders. Read more here.

Not a subscriber to American Scientist? Pdfs can be requested from lead author Adam Sepulveda.

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    nopales con huevo

    Blue Plate Special: Prickly Pear

    Fall is here, and the “cactus fig” is in season. Time to plate-up another widespread invader.


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      Blue Plate Special: Sow Thistle

      It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.


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        Lamb’s Quarters

        Lamb’s quarters was a popular spring tonic in the South—an early season edible green—but its leaves are good throughout the summer.       Chenopodium album Native range: Described by Linnaeus in 1753, this European native has been transferred throughout much of the world. Because its spread was rarely recorded, C. album‘s native and invasive [...]


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          Wild Fennel

            Foeniculum vulgare Native range: Mediterranean, from Turkey west to Spain and Morocco Invasive range: Much of North and South America, South Africa, and parts of Oceania and the British Isles. Check out the USDA Plants Database to see if it’s found near you. Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, along the edge of wild habitats. Rocky shores [...]


            EAT ME!
            GarlicMustard1

            Garlic Mustard

              Alliaria petiolata Native range: Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa Invasive range: Much of the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada. (See map.) Habitat: Moist, shaded soil of floodplains, forests, roadsides, edges of woods, and forest openings. Often dominant in disturbed areas. Description: Biennial herb. First-year plant has a rosette of green leaves close to the ground. [...]


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              Sea

              Pterois volitans

              Lionfish

              Some say it started in 1992 in Miami when Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank. Don’t blame the weather, others say; in the mid-nineties, disappointed yet softhearted hobbyists…


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                chuka wakame

                Wakame

                  Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]


                  EAT ME!
                  Hemigrapsus_sanguineus_big

                  Asian Shore Crab

                  The first sighting of the Asian shore crab in the United States was at Townsend Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey, in 1988. Though the source is unknown . . .


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                    Periwinkles

                    Periwinkle

                    The common periwinkle, which first appeared in New England in the 1860s, is now found along the coast wherever there’s hard substrate–rocks, riprap, broken concrete, or docks–from Labrador to . . .


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                      Kleiner_Taschenkrebs_(Carcinus_maenas)

                      Green Crab

                      Since the green crab was first recorded off southern Massachusetts in 1817, it has been hard to ignore. A few minutes of rock-flipping in Maine can turn up dozens of them, brandishing their claws as they retreat…


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                        Fresh

                        Procambarus_clarkii_tank

                        Red Swamp Crayfish

                          Procambarus clarkii Native range: Red Swamp Crayfish, also known as Louisiana Crayfish, Crawdad, and Mudbug, is native to the south central United States and northeastern Mexico. Invasive range: Widely introduced throughout the United States including Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. Populations have [...]


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                          Distinguishing _ Channa argus

                          Northern Snakehead

                          His sister was ailing, and the man in Maryland remembered that, back home in Hong Kong, there was a fish that was considered a delicacy and a restorative. He would make a fish soup…


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                            bullfrog

                            Bullfrog

                            “They live in a wide variety of habitats, colonize new ones readily, and eat everything that fits into their mouths,” says Dr. Peter Moyle of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis…


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                              Nutria

                              Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .


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                                Common Carp

                                For a bottom-feeder, what is the good life? The common carp isn’t very demanding: any body of water that’s sluggish and murky will do. One catching sewage or…


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                                  Field Notes

                                  Phragmites-young-shoots-300x225

                                  11 Steps to Harvesting Invaders

                                  A couple of months ago we wrote about a new paper in Management of Biological Invasions reiviewing harvest incentives for managing invasives. The folks over at invasivore.org did a bang-up job of parsing these out in 11 recommendations for effective harvest. Read them here.


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                                    The 800 Pound Grouper in the Room

                                    Aquarium fish, sold as juveniles in the pet trade but able to outgrow their tanks, are at a high risk of becoming invasive. See the new paper in Marine Policy.


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                                      green-crab

                                      Green Crab Shell Secret Cracked

                                      Researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada claim to have found a way to enhance molting in green crabs. If they can scale this up, and drum up interest by local chefs, they may just start a market for softshell invaders. Read more here.


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                                        snakehead

                                        Harvest the Invaders: Incentives to Control Invasive Species

                                        Biologists Susan Pasko and Jason Goldberg discuss harvesting invaders in a new paper in Management of Biological Invasions. Incentive programs, such as bounties and encouraging recreational harvests, appear to be appropriate for certain species and regions. Among the many benefits is the development of an outreach program. “By engaging the public and encouraging harvest,” the [...]


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                                          lionfish-690

                                          An App to Find Nemo

                                          “Creating a consumer market for invasive species is one of the most successful ways of combatting them. Like cupcakes or artisanal pickles, it can take a lot of marketing and hype to create a demand that matches the supply. The Connecticut chef Bun Lai’s invasive-species menu, which Elizabeth Kolbert wrote about in 2012, includes lionfish [...]


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                                            There’s a world of food growing volunteer, if you just know where to look for it.

                                            Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain

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