Modeling impacts of invasive sharp tooth African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell 1822) and Mozambique tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters, 1852) on the ecosystem of a tropical reservoir ecosystem in India.
Invasive species exert a strong impact on the trophic structure and functioning of the ecosystem they occupy. A modeling software globally used to assess these impacts is Ecopath with Ecosim. This study measures the effects of two invasive species, African catfish Clarias gariepinus, in the food web of the Karapuzha reservoir ecosystem in India. The findings show that the two invasive species directly and indirectly influence several ecosystem elements. The high level of niche overlap (92%) and strong competition for similar resources was exhibited by C. gariepinus. The adverse effects of African catfish on all fish and crustaceans in the reservoir were revealed by mixed trophic impact. Oreochromis mossambicus impacts were both positive and negative. It had a beneficial impact on its predator aquatic birds and was negative towards minnows. This study will help fishery managers to make informed decisions for ecosystem-based fishery management of fish resources.