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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Sleeper populations are established populations of a non-native species whose population growth is limited by one or more abiotic or biotic conditions, such as climate change. While the northeastern US is predicted to be a hotspot for future invasions, identifying potential sleeper populations before they become invasive can inform proactive, climate-smart invasive species management. I focused on 169 introduced species that are established in one or more northeastern states. I used the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT) framework to systematically identify and review the peer-reviewed literature for these candidate species to quantify their negative ecological and socioeconomic impacts. I identified 49 plants with ‘major’ impacts linked to the decline of multiple native species or loss of community diversity. Using high negative ecological impact, habitat suitability, and climate suitability as selection criteria, I highlight 37 species as high priority for management in the North Atlantic –Appalachian Region.


First Advisor

Bethany Bradley

Second Advisor

Toni Lyn Morelli

Appendix A. EICAT reports for individual (8770 kB)
Individual EICAT Reports

Appendix B_README_OUhuru.txt (2 kB)
Sleeper Species Database - EICAT assessment scores for all potential sleeper species, and impact mechanisms

Appendix C. Climate Envelopes for 129 Species with high (17245 kB)
Climate Envelopes for 129 Species with high abundance