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The effectiveness of non-native fish removal techniques in freshwater ecosystems: a systematic review.

Rytwinski, T., Taylor, J., Donaldson, L., Britton, J.R., Browne, D., Greswell, R., Lintermans, M., Prior, K., Pellatt, M., Vis, C. and Cooke, S.J., 2019. The effectiveness of non-native fish removal techniques in freshwater ecosystems: a systematic review. Environmental Reviews (Dossiers Environnement), 27 (1), 71-94.

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Rytwinski et al_Fish removal SR_FINAL.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1139/er-2018-0049


In aquatic systems, biological invasions can result in adverse ecological effects. Man-agement techniques available for non-native fish removal programs (including eradica-tion and population size control) vary widely, but include chemicals, harvest regimes, physical removal, or biological control. For management agencies, deciding on what non-native fish removal program to use has been challenging because there is little reliable information about the relative effectiveness of these measures in controlling or eradicat-ing non-native fish. We conducted a systematic review, including a critical appraisal of study validity, to assess the effectiveness of different non-native fish removal methods, and to identify the factors that influence the overall success rate of each type of method. We found 95 relevant studies, generating 158 data sets. The evidence base was dominated by poorly documented studies with inadequate experimental designs (76% of removal projects). When the management goal was non-native fish eradication, chemical treat-ments were relatively successful (antimycin 89%; rotenone 75%) compared to other in-terventions. Electrofishing and passive removal measure studies indicated successful eradication was possible (58% each respectively) but required intensive effort and multi-ple treatments over a number of years. Of these studies with sufficient information, elec-trofishing had the highest success for population size control (56% of data sets). Overall, inadequate data quality and completeness severely limited our ability to make strong con-clusions about the relationships between non-native fish abundance and different methods of eradication and population control, and the factors influencing the overall success rate of each method. Our review highlights that there is considerable scope for improving our evaluations of non-native fish removal methods. It is recommended that programs should have explicitly stated objectives, better data reporting, and study designs that (when pos-sible and appropriate) incorporate replicated and controlled investigations with rigorous, long-term quantitative monitoring. Future research on the effectiveness of non-native fish removal methods should focus on: (1) the efficacy of existing or potentially new removal measures in larger, more complex environments; (2) a broader range of removal measures in general, and (3) phenotypic characteristics of individual fish within a population that fail to be eradicated or controlled.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:alien invasive species; restoration; nonindigenous species; invasive species; invasion biology; evidence-based policy
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:31355
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:12 Oct 2018 14:08
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:13


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