Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Impact of the non-native locariid fish Pterygoplichthys pardalis in native fish community on a seasonal tropical floodplain in Mexico.

Abstract

The present study reports the seasonal dynamics of the fish community structure in the presence of a non-native fish (Pterygoplichthys pardalis) in tropical waterbodies of southern Mexico. The studied floodplain existed in both connected pools and disconnected pools "to the Palizada river". Local fish fauna showed consistent assemblages across seasons, but among the 17 local fish species recorded, the non-native species P. pardalis showed the highest percentage of contribution to the fish community (ca. 20%). Conversely, the frequency of occurrence and density of the non-native species showed variation in relation to the type of waterbody and seasonality; its density was approximately four times higher in disconnected pools than in connected pools in the rainy season and its predominant size class in both pool types was 21-30 cm in standard length. Interestingly, the diversity of the native species was negatively related to the density of the non-native species, indicating that the presence of P. pardalis can be a factor involved in the decline of native fish diversity in these local communities. Currently, the possible impacts of the presence of P. pardalis on local fish diversity at the regional scale are unknown, but our results suggest that hydrological dynamics regulate the establishment of the non-native species in this region. However, future studies are needed to provide insights into the actual scenario of P. pardalis distribution in Yucatan Peninsula and the possible impacts on the native fish fauna in southern Mexico.