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Conservation decision-making in Antarctica: managing invasive species using a Bayesian Belief Network approach

Conservation decision-making in Antarctica: managing invasive species using a Bayesian Belief Network approach
Yi Han


Yi Han
The University of Queensland, School of Biological Sciences, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

Justine Shaw
Terrestrial and Nearshore Ecoystems, Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Hwy, Kingston Tas 7050, Tasmania, Australia

Yvonne Buckley
The University of Queensland, ARC Centre of Excellence in Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.


Despite the Antarctic Treaty System attempts to prevent non-native species introduction several non-native species are established in Antarctica. Furthermore these incursions are likely to increase given accelerating climate change and rapid increases in human activities in Antarctica. The Committee for Environmental Protection has suggested that, where practicable, eradication of the established non-native species is necessary to conserve Antarctic biodiversity and intrinsic value.

However, without sufficient consideration and comprehensive planning, the control or eradication actions may cause unforeseen and unwanted effects. Due to the low diversity of Antarctic ecosystems, such management interventions may cause further problems. For example mechanically disturbed ground can create ecological niches for new invasions and disturb slow-growing native species and chemical control may result in contamination and adverse effects to native biodiversity.

In conservation decision making, the consequences of management interventions and potential adverse effects should be explicitly considered and assessed. We propose to construct and parameterize a Bayesian Belief Network model (BBN) (a probabilistic graphical model), examining the eradication of established non-native plants in Antarctica. We will assess the management efforts and evaluate the possible consequences to the support the decision making.

This study will increase our understanding of the role of the non-native species in a whole under the Antarctic ecosystem context; and the Bayesian Belief Network model will enable the assessment of eradication and other management activities. This will provide a paradigm for future research on similar management problems, and can help to inform policy related to the responses to non-native species in Antarctica.

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Key dates

  • 11th June 2013
    Registrations close
  • 21st June 2013
    Registrations at the AAD open for staff
  • 24th June 2013
    Registrations at the venue open
  • 24th June 2013
    Conference commences
  • 26th June 2013
    Conference concludes

More key dates…

This page was last modified on 23 September 2013.