The USGS Invasive Species Program provides methodologies and information to address the increasing threat to ecological systems and native species from the introduction and spread of invasive species. As the primary research agency within the Department of the Interior, USGS places special emphasis on lands and waters managed by Department agencies, such as the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service. The Invasive Species Program supports cooperative efforts to document and monitor the introduction and spread of invasive species, study the ecology of invaders and factors in the resistance of habitats to invasion, forecast probabilities and locations of future invasions, provide methods and information to assess and manage risks, and develop methods to prevent and control invasive species and minimize their environmental impacts.
In the Pacific Southwest, invasive species of both plants and animals are abundant and pose challenges to managers of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Many invasive species have the ability to displace or replace native plant and animal species, disrupt nutrient and fire cycles, and cause changes in the pattern of plant succession. Research topics at the Western Ecological Research Center include analysis of the impacts of invasive species on native ecosystems, invasive species ecology, techniques for control of established invasives and early detection of new invasions.