Aquatic invasive species: introduction to the Special Issue and dynamics of public interest
Culturomics, Google Trends, Keywords Everywhere, Non-native species, Public opinion, Search volume
Aquatic invasive species research has been surging in popularity, with the number of papers published in Hydrobiologia doubling since the previous decade. We overview contributions to the current Special Issue, including new studies on introduction and establishment, traits distinguishing high-impact invaders and their impacts, interactions between AIS and other human stressors as well as new developments in management. In addition, we analyze public interest in invasive species using 17 years of data (2004–2020) on absolute search volumes from Google extracted using Keywords Everywhere app. In particular, we analyze trends in searches for invasive species in general, several high-impact AIS, as well as the popularity of invasive species searches contrasted with other commonly recognized ecological problems in aquatic ecosystems. During the available search period, search volume for invasive species in general has increased and compared favorably with other ecological issues, whereas search volume patterns for high-impact AIS were species-specific and often exceeded search volumes for the general keyword. Public engagement is critical for all aspects of AIS research and management, and analysis of search volumes can be used to gauge, sustain and diversify this engagement.
Kovalenko, Katya E.; Pelicice, Fernando M.; Kats, Lee B.; Kotta, Jonne; and Thomaz, Sidinei M., "Aquatic invasive species: introduction to the Special Issue and dynamics of public interest" (2021). Pepperdine University, Faculty Open Access Publications. Paper 225.