Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Factors affecting the local occurrence of the near-threatened bitterling (Tanakia lanceolata) in agricultural canal networks: strong attachment to its potential host mussels.

Abstract

Ecologically specialized species may be more susceptible to anthropogenic impacts than generalist species. Japan's native bitterlings (subfamily Acheilognathinae), which are specialized to spawn on the gills of certain freshwater mussels, have been declining dramatically during the last few decades. To identify factors affecting the local occurrence of the threatened bitterling species Tanakia lanceolata, we measured its presence and absence, along with several environmental factors, at 68 sites within agricultural canal networks in the Lake Mikata basin, Fukui Prefecture, Japan. Based on the theoretical information approach of Akaike's information criterion, generalized linear mixed models were constructed. These revealed that the species' occurrence is strongly affected by five major factors: the presence of freshwater mussels Anodonta sp., water depth, floating plants coverage, the presence of bullfrogs, and submerged plants coverage. The probability of the presence of T. lanceolata was higher at shallower sites with lower floating plants coverage, located within channels containing mussel beds. These results suggest that mussel-containing channel systems are high-priority conservation zones for T. lanceolata.