Data in support of: AIS Explorer: Intervention Impact - An application for planning cost-effective AIS prevention programs

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Data in support of: AIS Explorer: Intervention Impact - An application for planning cost-effective AIS prevention programs

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Angell, Nichole R.




The movement of aquatic invasive species (AIS) between waterbodies is often facilitated by overland transport on recreational boats. Once established, AIS can have detrimental ecological effects that are difficult or impossible to manage. Prevention is the most cost-effective AIS intervention strategy, with many management agencies focused on implementing spread prevention techniques such as boater education, watercraft inspection, and hot water decontamination. Given resource constraints, deciding which spread prevention techniques to implement and where to place them is a decision fraught with uncertainty. In this study, we collected data for, developed, and tested a new application entitled “Intervention Impact” for the AIS Explorer, an online AIS program-planning dashboard ( The application assists AIS managers by simulating scenarios derived from user-defined lake-level budgets, effort, and effectiveness of interventions, enabling them to make comparisons. The outputs provide estimates for risk reduction and infestations averted for both zebra mussel and starry stonewort in Minnesota lakes. We demonstrate the utility of this application using the conditions of Cass County, Minnesota, USA as a case study. Our simulation outputs highlight the tradeoffs of each prevention strategy applied given budget constraints and demonstrate that value of a data-driven approach to guide the implementation of cost-effective prevention plans.


The "Simulation model inputs and" contains data files that are inputs to the simulation model featured on the Intervention Impact tab of AIS Explorer, scripts that underlie the simulation model, and files to integrate cost data into the Intervention Impact tab and also provide summary measurements of intervention effectiveness. There is also an RMD file that demonstrates a full model use case, incorporating most of the other files listed and showing how they relate to one another–interested parties can refer to this file for more details. The "AIS prevention cost effectiveness data and demonstration of simulation model" contains data voluntarily reported by the MN DNR that were used to determine which counties to host interviews with to gather itemized cost information as well as to get a general idea of spending trends for MN counties on their AIS prevention plans. The hypothetical scenarios run through the AIS explorer for Cass County were used to showcase the application's abilities in prevention planning. The AIS removal data obtained from Angell et. al 2023 were used to compare and contrast the cost-effectiveness of AIS preventions in each county. The R code can be used to recreate any calculations or figures created as part of this study.

Referenced by

Kinsley, A. C., Haight, R. G., Snellgrove, N., Muellner, P., Muellner, U., Duhr, M., & Phelps, N. B. D. (2022). AIS explorer: Prioritization for watercraft inspections-A decision-support tool for aquatic invasive species management. Journal of Environmental Management, 314, 115037.
Kao, S.-Y. Z., Enns, E. A., Tomamichel, M., Doll, A., Escobar, L. E., Qiao, H., Craft, M. E., & Phelps, N. B. D. (2021). Network connectivity of Minnesota waterbodies and implications for aquatic invasive species prevention. Biological Invasions, 23(10), 3231–3242.

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Funding information

This project is based upon work supported by the U.S. Geological Survey under Grant/Cooperative Agreement No. G21AP10208. Additional funding was provided by the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences through the University of Minnesota's Water Resource Center, and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

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Angell, Nichole R; Bajcz, Alex; Kinsley, Amy; Keller, Reuben; Phelps, Nicholas B. D.. (2024). Data in support of: AIS Explorer: Intervention Impact - An application for planning cost-effective AIS prevention programs. Retrieved from the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota (DRUM),
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readme.txtOverview description of data and files47.19 KB
Simulation model inputs and code.zipData and code for simulation model on Intervention Impact tab of AIS Explorer132.65 MB
AIS prevention cost effectiveness data and demonstration of simulation model applicability.zipData and code for hypothetical scenarios run through the AIS Explorer22.11 KB

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