, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 89-102
Date: 20 Apr 2007

Life-history traits of non-native fishes in Iberian watersheds across several invasion stages: a first approach

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Abstract

Freshwater ecosystems are seriously imperiled by the spread of non-native fishes thus establishing profiles of their life-history characteristics is an emerging tool for developing conservation and management strategies. We did a first approach to determine characteristics of successful and failed non-native fishes in a Mediterranean-climate area, the Iberian Peninsula, for three stages of the invasion process: establishment, spread and integration. Using general linear models, we established which characteristics are most important for success at each invasion stage. Prior invasion success was a good predictor for all the stages of the invasion process. Biological variables relevant for more than one invasion stage were maximum adult size and size of native range. Despite these common variables, all models produced a different set of variables important for a successful invasion, demonstrating that successful invaders have a combination of biological traits that may favor success at all invasion stages. However, some differences were found in relation to published studies on fish invasions in other Mediterranean-climate areas, suggesting that characteristics of the recipient ecosystem are as relevant as the characteristics of the invading species.