Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Assessing the impacts of the introduced channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus using the comparative functional response approach.

Abstract

In the metric "Relative Impact Potential" (RIP), the functional response (FR) of a non-native species can be compared with that of a native analogue and combined with the species abundance to predict its environmental impact. Here, using the River Guaraguaçu (Brazil) as a case study, this methodology was implemented to identify the impacts of the non-native channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque) compared with a native species Rhamdia quelen (Quoy & Gaimard) towards small prey fish. Both species exhibited Type II FRs, but handling times were lower for I. punctatus, resulting in a greater maximum feeding rate in this species. Consequently, an RIP > 1 was found, indicating that I. punctatus represents a superior impact to prey compared with its native analogue. These results demonstrate that I. punctatus is a potential threat to small endangered fish species; therefore, policies to avoid escapes from aquaculture should be created and the abundance of I. punctatus controlled.