Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Perceived ecological threats and economic benefits of non-native black bass in the United States.

Abstract

Black bass Micropterus spp. are highly sought-after sport fish and, where introduced, are emblematic of the tradeoffs between ensuring productive fisheries and conserving native biodiversity. To disentangle these potentially conflicting interests, we administered a survey of fisheries biologists in the United States to assess perceptions regarding ecological and economic impacts of non-native black bass between anthropogenic and natural habitats. Our results indicate that non-native black bass are generally considered economically beneficial in both habitat types. Contrastingly, these species were perceived to have significantly more negative ecological impacts in natural than anthropogenic habitats. Our findings suggest that habitat may be an important factor to partition the conflicting ecological-economic dynamic of non-native black bass. Implications of this study suggest that challenges remain for managers attempting to balance the paradoxical nature of these species as both desired sport fishes and as potentially harmful invaders when found outside their native range.