Biotic passage through the Panama Canal, with particular reference to fishes Article Accepted: 03 February 1975 DOI:
Cite this article as: McCosker, J.E. & Dawson, C.E. Marine Biology (1975) 30: 343. doi:10.1007/BF00390639 Abstract
The effectiveness of the Gatun Lake fresh-water barrier to fish migration of the Panama Canal was examined, based on literature records and recent collections. Six species have migrated to the Pacific and three to the Atlantic Oceans. New records include:
Hypleurochilus aequipinnis, Barbulifer ceuthoecus and Oostethus lineatus of Atlantic origin, and Gnathanodon, speciosus of Pacific origin. The majority of Atlantic migrants are known in the Pacific only from the Miraflores Third Lock, a unique ectogenic meromictic lake attached to the Pacific entrance of the canal. The hydrography and biota (including Atlantic algal and crustacean species previously unknown as canal migrants) of the lake are discussed. It is presumed that certain fish migrants transited the canal by associating with fouling material on the underside of ships. The euryhaline species, H. aequipinnis, Lupinoblennius dispar, Lophogobius cyprinoides and Omobranchus punctatus survived in freshwater (0.0‰S) for periods longer than réquired for ship transit of the canal (ca. 8h). The stenohaline migrant Gobiosoma nudum died after 2 h in freshwater, but survived more than 50 h at 2.5‰S. Plans to increase Panama Canal ship transits through the pumping of seawater into Gatún Lake might remove the biological barrier and allow the migration of euryhaline and stenohaline species. We find those plans unwise, and the potential consequences dangerous.
Communicated by J.S. Pearse, Santa Cruz
Almeida, V.: New records of tidepool fishes from Brazil. Papéis Dep. Zool. S Paulo
, 187–191 (1973)
Anonymous: Resolution 5, Annual meeting of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists. Copeia
1973 (4) 838–839 (1973)
Bayer, F.M., G.L. Voss and C.R. Robins: Bioenvironmental and radiological safety feasibility studies — Atlantic-Pacific Interoceanic Canal. Report on the marine fauna and benthic shelf-slope communities of the isthmian region, 311 pp. Miami: University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science 1970
Böhlke, J.E. and C.C.G. Chaplin: Fishes of the Bahamas and adjacent tropical waters 711 pp. Wynnewood, Pa.: Livingston 1968
Bozniak, E.G., N.S. Schanen, B.C. Parker and C.M. Keenan: Limological features of a tropical meromictic lake. Hydrobiologia
(3–4), 524–532 (1969)
Breder, C.M., Jr.: The fishes of Barro Colorado, Gatun Lake, Panama. Zoologica, N.Y.
(16), 565–572 (1933)
Briggs, J.C.: The East Pacific Barrier and the distribution of shore fishes. Evolution, Lancaster, Pa.
, 545–554 (1961)
—: The sea-level Panama Canal: potential biological catastrophe. BioSci.
, 44–47 (1969)
Chesher, R.H.: Transport of marine plankton through the Panama Canal. Limnol. Oceanogr.
, 387–388 (1968)
Chickering, A.M.: An Atlantic pipefish caught in transit through the Panama Canal. Copeia
(4), 85–86 (1930)
Dawson, C.E.: A Mississippi population of the opossum pipefish,
(4), 772–773, (1970a)
—: The Caribbean Atlantic blenny
(Tribe: Blenniini), with observations on a Pacific population. Proc. biol. Soc. Wash.
, 273–286 (1970b)
—: A redescription of
Ginsburg (Pisces: Gobiidae) with notes on
(Pallas). Proc. biol. Soc. Wash.
, 371–384 (1972)
—: Occurrence of an exotic eleotrid fish in Panamá with discussion of probable origin and mode of introduction. Copeia
(1), 141–144 (1973)
Glynn, P.W.: Observations on the ecology of the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Panamá. Bull. biol. Soc. Wash.
(2), 13–30 (1972)
Hildebrand, S.F.: The tarpon in the Panama Canal. Scient. Mon., N.Y.
, 245–246 (1937)
—: The Panama Canal as a passageway for fishes, with lists and remarks on the fishes and invertebrates observed. Zoologica, N.Y.
(3), 15–45 (1939)
Hutchinson, G.E.: A treatise on limnology. Vol. 1. Geography, physics, and chemistry, 1015 pp. New York: J. Wiley 1957
Jones, M.L. and C.E. Dawson: Salinity-temperature profiles in the Panama Canal locks. Mar. Biol.
, 86–90 (1973)
McCosker, J.E.: A new species of
(Pisces: Mugiloididae) from the Juan Fernández Islands. Copeia
(4), 682–686 (1971)
Menzies, R.J.: Transport of marine life between oceans through the Panama Canal. Nature, Lond.
(5169), 802–803 (1968)
Miller, R.R.: Geographical distribution of Central American freshwater fishes. Copeia
(4), 771–810 (1966)
Newman, W.A.: The National Academy of Science Committee on the ecology of the interoceanic canal. Bull. biol. Soc. Wash.
(2), 247–259 (1972)
Randall, J.E.: The West Indian bleniid fishes of the genus
, with the description of a new species. Proc. biol. Soc. Wash.
, 57–72 (1966)
Rosenblatt, R.H., J.E. McCosker and I. Rubinoff: Indo-west Pacific fishes from the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama. Contr. Sci.
Rubinoff, I.: Central American sea-level canal: possible biological effects. Science, N.Y.
, 857–861 (1968)
—: The sea-level canal controversy. Biol. Conserv.
, 33–36 (1970)
CrossRef Google Scholar
Rubinoff, R.W. and I. Rubinoff: Interoceanic colonization of a marine goby through the Panama Canal. Nature, Lond.
(5127), 476–478 (1968)
——: Observations on the migration of a marine goby through the Panama Canal. Copeia
(2), 395–397 (1969)
Sheffey, J.P.: When Caribbean and Pacific waters mix. Science, N.Y.
, p. 1329 (1968)
Springer, V.G.: Resolution on the Panama Canal. Science, N.Y.
, p. 336 (1973)
Springer, V.G. and M.F. Gomon: Revision of the blenniid fish genus
Omobranchus, with descriptions of three new species and notes on other species of the tribe Omobranchini. Smithsonian Contr. Zool. (In press)
Zaret, T.M. and R.T. Paine: Species introduction in a tropical lake. Science N.Y.
, 449–455 (1973)