An invasive species, Carassius gibelio, alters the native fish community through trophic niche competition.
Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses were used to determine isotopic niche width of the invasive fish species Carassius gibelio to help assess the niche overlap and potential impact of this species on the native fish fauna in the Karamenderes River, northwest Turkey. C. gibelio had the highest niche area of the coexisting species. The greatest overlap of isotopic niche was between C. gibelio and Mugil cephalus in the river mouth. The freshwater species displayed similar patterns when taking into consideration their relative abundance and isotopic overlap. While C. gibelio is likely to outcompete some species at some localities, the species was found co-occurring with others by maximum tolerable overlap degree and apparently utilised vacant niche space at some stations. Overall our results indicate that C. gibelio has extensive niche overlap with the native fish species making it a strong competitor, and because of its high abundance and high niche width this invasive species represents a serious threat to the native fish fauna, particularly in the river mouth.