The non-native royal damsel (Neopomacentrus cyanomos) in the southern Gulf of Mexico: An invasion risk?
- 440 Downloads
A diminutive, non-native damselfish (Neopomacentrus cyanomos) was recently discovered inhabiting coral reefs near Veracruz, Mexico—far removed from where it is native in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific. The quantities found in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) suggest that the fish has already established a self-sustaining population in this new ecosystem. There is understandable concern, therefore, that this new arrival may become invasive and spread, yet the invasion risk imposed by this fish has not been assessed. In this study, a computer model was employed to deliver a forecast of the potential range of incursion of N. cyanomos in the GOM spanning 5 years. The model incorporated oceanic water flow in the region, tolerances of this damselfish to the ocean environment, and their reproductive strategy in order to supply a temporal and spatial forecast of their spread. From this study, targeted early detection and removal of the fish can be directed if the fish is deemed a threat to native fauna. On the basis of this work, it is foreseeable that the reefs presently harboring N. cyanomos will likely see increased abundance of this damsel. Immediate attempts to eliminate the fish, therefore, should be focused in nearshore shallow waters spanning Veracruz to Frontera, Mexico. Further, water flows in the southern GOM are not widely conducive to long-distance transport of marine organisms with pelagic larvae, reducing the risk of this damsel permeating the greater GOM over 5 years. Aside from N. cyanomos, this study implicitly adds to mounting evidence supporting a biogeographic disconnect between the Veracruz reef complex and the greater GOM and the Caribbean.
KeywordsReef Fish Pelagic Larval Duration Baseline Simulation Invasion Pressure Invasive Lionfish
Many thanks are due to the National Coral Reef Institute for their support of this research effort. We also thank Dr. Pamela Schofield who provided essential life-history information about this species and also valuable feedback when composing this manuscript. This is NCRI publication no. 179.
Supplementary material 1 (MP4 262993 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (MP4 177638 kb)
- Allen GR (1986) Pomacentridae. In: Smith MM, Heemstra PC (eds) Smiths’ sea fishes. Springer, Berlin, pp 670–682Google Scholar
- Allen GR (1991) Damselfishes of the world. Mergus Publishers, MelleGoogle Scholar
- Becker JJ, Sandwell DT, Smith WHF, Braud J, Binder B, Depner J, Fabre D, Factor J, Ingalls S, Kim S-H, Ladner R, Marks K, Nelson S, Pharaoh A, Trimmer R, Von Rosenberg J, Wallace G, Weatherall P (2009) Global bathymetry and elevation data at 30 arc seconds resolution: SRTM30_PLUS. Mar Geod 32(4):355–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chassignet EP, Hulburt HE, Smedstad OM, Barron CN, Ko DS, Rhodes RC, Shriver JF, Wallcraft AJ, Arnone AR (2005) Assessment of data assimilative ocean models in the Gulf of Mexico using ocean color. Circ Gulf Mex Obs Models 161:87–100Google Scholar
- Comyns BH, Shaw RF, Lyczkowski-Shultz J (2003) Small-scale spatial and temporal variability in growth and mortality of fish larvae in the subtropical north central Gulf of Mexico: implications for assessing recruitment success. Fish Bull 101(1):10–21Google Scholar
- Jordán-Dahlgren E (2002) Gorgonian distribution patterns in coral reef environments of the Gulf of Mexico: evidence of sporadic ecological connectivity? Coral Reefs 21(2):205–215Google Scholar
- Kavanagh KD (2000) Larval brooding in the marine damselfish Acanthochromis polyacanthus (Pomacentridae) is correlated with highly divergent morphology, ontogeny and life-history traits. Bull Mar Sci 66(2):321–337Google Scholar
- Randall JE, Allen GR, Steene RC (1990) Fishes of the great barrier reef and coral sea. University of Hawai’i Press, HonoluluGoogle Scholar
- Setu SK, Kumar TA, Balasubramanian T, Dabbagh AR, Keshavarz M (2010) Breeding and rearing of regal damselfish Neopomacentrus cyanomos (Bleeker, 1856): the role of green water in larval survival. World J Fish Mar Sci 2(6):551–557Google Scholar
- Sreeraj G, Gopakumar G (2004). Reproductive biology of the regal demoiselle Neopomacentrus cyanomos (Bleeker) 1856. In: Proceedings of national seminar on new frontiers in marine bioscience research, National Institute of Ocean Technology and Society of Bioscience, Jan 22-23, 2004 (pp. 255-266). Allied PublishersGoogle Scholar
- USGS NAS (2015) United States Geological Survey—nonindigenous aquatic species database (USGS NAS). http://nas.er.usgs.gov. Accessed 1 July 2015