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Trophic consequences of an invasive, small-bodied non-native fish, sunbleak Leucaspius delineatus, for native pond fishes.

Basic, T., Copp, G.H., Edmonds Brown, V., Keskin, E., Davison, P.I. and Britton, J.R., 2019. Trophic consequences of an invasive, small-bodied non-native fish, sunbleak Leucaspius delineatus, for native pond fishes. Biological Invasions, 21 (1), 261-275.

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DOI: 10.1007/s10530-018-1824-y


Assessments of the trophic consequences of invasive fishes are important for quantifying their ecological impacts on native species more generally. A small-bodied cyprinid fish native to continental Europe and introduced in the 1970s to the U.K, the sunbleak Leuciscus delineatus, has been shown previously to establish closer social associations with native species of similar size than do native species amongst themselves. To assess the potential detrimental trophic consequences of native species associations with L. delineatus, a field-based experiment was undertaken in summer 2015 in six outdoor, artificial ponds containing three native cyprinid species (rudd Scardinius erthrophthalamus, gudgeon Gobio gobio, tench Tinca tinca). Three ponds were controls (no L. delineatus) and three were treatments (L. delineatus present). The results of stable isotope analysis (SIA) of fish tissue samples provided strong evidence that the isotopic niches of both native benthic fishes were reduced in the presence of L. delineatus, although there were no significant effects on the trophic position, body size or condition of two of the three native fish species. Introduced L. delineatus maintained a core isotopic niche that was distinct from the two native benthic fishes, with no overlap detected between native and non-native fishes when including 40 % and 95% of the data. These results indicate that the response of the native fishes to the introduction of L. delineatus was niche constriction via trophic specialisation, with this response sufficient to maintain their growth rates and condition. This result is similar to studies on a range of small-bodied invasive fishes, suggesting the trophic impacts of these invaders are relatively consistent across species and systems.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:trophic niche; stable isotope analysis; non-native species; niche constriction; outdoor experimental ponds
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:31356
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:12 Oct 2018 14:29
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:13


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