Regional Summaries: Alaska RegionThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Alaska has fewer invasive species and is less impacted by invasive species than most places on Earth. Until recently, Alaska has been protected by its cold climate and by its comparative lack of roads and other development.However, these barriers are eroding. Warming climate trends and longer shoulder seasons have reduced the climate flter that so far may have prevented some invasive species from establishing in the State (Figs. A1.1 and A1.2; Carlson et al. 2015; Jarnevich et al. 2014; Sanderson et al. 2012; Wolken et al. 2011). More extensive wildland fire combined with increasing activity in mining, oil and gas extraction, and wilderness tourism are extending the network of travel corridors and altered landscapes that are vulnerable to the establishment and spread of invasive species (Cortes-Burns et al. 2008; Spellman et al. 2014). With 10,680 km of coastline and at least 2670 named islands, Alaska is also vulnerable to invaders in the nearshore marine environment.