Direct and indirect effects of an introduced piscivore, Cichla kelberi and their modification by aquatic plants

Katya E. Kovalenko, Eric D. Dibble, Angelo A. Agostinho, Geuza Cantanhêde, Rosemara Fugi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The non-native peacock bass (Cichla kelberi) is causing freshwater fish extinctions in the tropical regions around the world, but there are very few studies on its interaction with native species. This study, based on a mesocosm experiment, examined direct and indirect effects of a non-native peacock bass on the native prey in Paraná River, Brazil, and tested whether these effects were mitigated by aquatic vegetation. Feeding activity of most prey was unaffected by the presence of peacock bass. All prey were consumed in the absence of vegetation; whereas a marginally significant decrease in mortality was observed in the vegetated habitats. Overall, peacock bass had minor indirect effects on prey foraging, but very significant direct effects on prey survival. As aquatic plants provide very limited protection to native prey, vegetated habitats are unlikely to slow down the decline in biodiversity resulting from this invasive species and conservation measures may need to consider other ways to ensure survival of the source populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume638
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Feeding activity
  • Intimidation effects
  • Macrophyte
  • Non-native species
  • Predator-prey interactions
  • Refuge

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