Hitchhikers on floats to Arctic freshwater: Private aviation and recreation loss from aquatic invasion

Tobias Schwoerer, Joseph M. Little, Jennifer I. Schmidt, Kyle W. Borash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study of aviation-related recreation loss shows that a survey primarily aimed at collecting information on invasive species’ pathways can also be used to estimate changes in pathway-related ecosystem services. We present a case study for Elodea spp. (elodea), Alaska’s first known aquatic invasive plant, by combining respondents’ stated pre-invasion actual flights with stated post-invasion contingent behavior, plane operating costs, and site quality data. We asked pilots about the extent of continued flights should destinations become invaded and inhibit flight safety. We estimate a recreation demand model where the lost trip value to the average floatplane pilot whose destination is an elodea-invaded lake is US$185 (95 % CI $157, $211). Estimates of ecosystem damages incurred by private actors responsible for transmitting invaders can nudge actors to change behavior and inform adaptive ecosystem management. The policy and modeling implications of quantifying such damages and integration into more complex models are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1376
Number of pages13
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alaska
  • Aquatic invasive species
  • Consumer welfare
  • Ecosystem service valuation
  • Ex-ante impact
  • Recreational aviation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Hitchhikers on floats to Arctic freshwater: Private aviation and recreation loss from aquatic invasion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this