Fish invasion in the river systems of Guangdong Province, South China: possible indicators of their success.
Although a large number of fish species have been introduced into Guangdong Province in Southern China, a few species, such as tilapia (Tilapia spp.), North African catfish Clarias gariepinus Burchell, mrigal carp, Cirrhinus mrigala (Bloch) and the sucker mouth catfish (Hypostomus sp.), have established natural populations and can be considered "successful invaders" in large rivers. The specific mechanisms underlying these contrasting results among different introduced fish species remain understudied. The relationship between multiple abiotic-biotic factors and the success of four invasive species was investigated using survey data for the Guangdong Province river ecosystem. In contrast to previous studies that have considered species-specific traits, the focus was on economic, ecological and anthropogenic factors to predict invasion success. Four main predictive indicators were found: (1) successful invaders were of low or no commercial value; (2) successful invaders tolerated a wide range of environmental conditions, including poor water quality; (3) biodiversity loss accelerated the growth of non-native populations; (4) human disturbance facilitated population growth and spread of invasive fish species. To lessen the impacts of invasive fish species, the selection of breeding species and breeding areas, maintenance of water quality and reduction in water pollution, protection of the diversity of fish species and reduction of human interference should be addressed.