Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 51–59 | Cite as

Salinity tolerance of non-native Asian swamp eels (Teleostei: Synbranchidae) in Florida, USA: comparison of three populations and implications for dispersal

Article

Abstract

Three populations of non-native Asian swamp eels are established in peninsular Florida (USA), and comprise two different genetic lineages. To assess potential for these fish to penetrate estuarine habitats or use coastal waters as dispersal routes, we determined their salinity tolerances. Swamp eels from the three Florida populations were tested by gradual (chronic) salinity increases; additionally, individuals from the Miami population were tested by abrupt (acute) salinity increases. Results showed significant tolerance by all populations to mesohaline waters: Mean survival time at 14 ppt was 63 days. The Homestead population, a genetically distinct lineage, exhibited greater tolerance to higher salinity than Tampa and Miami populations. Acute experiments indicated that swamp eels were capable of tolerating abrupt shifts from 0 to 16 ppt, with little mortality over 10 days. The broad salinity tolerance demonstrated by these experiments provides evidence that swamp eels are physiologically capable of infiltrating estuarine environments and using coastal waters to invade new freshwater systems.

Keywords

Ecophysiology Monopterus Nonindigenous species Osmoregulation Synbranchidae 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Mary E. Brown, Travis Tuten and Eddie E. Leonard for assistance in the lab and field. Assistance in the field was also provided by Shane Ruessler and Carla Wieser. We are also grateful to Rob Bennetts and Howard Jelks for statistical advice and to William F. Loftus, Mark Peterson and two anonymous reviewers for comments on drafts of the manuscript. Sherry Bostick and Denise Gregoire contributed with final formatting of the manuscript. Funding was provided to LGN as part of U.S. Geological Survey project number 01-FH-01. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

References

  1. Allen GR (1991) Field guide to the freshwater fishes of New Guinea. Publication No. 9. Christensen Research Institute, Madang, Papua New GuineaGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey RM, Gans C (1998) Two new synbranchid fishes, Monopterus roseni from peninsular India and M. desilvai from Sri Lanka. Occ Pap Mus Zool Univ Mich 726:1–18Google Scholar
  3. Bailey RM, Winn HE, Smith CL (1954) Fishes from the Escambia River, Alabama and Florida, with ecologic and taxonomic notes. Proc Acad Nat Sci Phila 108:109–164Google Scholar
  4. Berra TM (2001) Freshwater fish distribution. Academic Press, San Diego, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhuiyan AL (1964) Fishes of Dacca. The Asiatic Society of Pakistan. Publication No. 13. Dhaka, BangladeshGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown JA, Moore WM, Quabius ES (2001) Physiological effects of saline waters on zander. J Fish Biol 59:1544–1555 doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.2001.tb00219.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown JA, Scott DM, Wilson RW (2007) Do estuaries act as saline bridges to allow invasion of new freshwater systems by non-indigenous fish species. In: Gherardi F (ed) Biological invaders in inland waters: Profiles, distribution and threats. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, pp 401–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carver DC (1966) Distribution and abundance of the centrarchids in the recent delta of the Mississippi River. Proc Ann Conf SE Assoc Game Fish Comm 20:390–404Google Scholar
  9. Cheng QT, Zhou CW (eds) (1997) The fishes of Shandong Province. Shandong Science and Technology Press, Jinan, China (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Collins TM, Trexler JC, Nico LG, Rawlings TA (2002) Genetic diversity in a morphologically conservative invasive taxon: multiple introductions of swamp eels to the southeastern United States. Conserv Biol 16:1024–1035 doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1739.2002.01182.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cox DR, Oakes D (1984) Analysis of survival data. Monographs on statistics and applied probability 21. Chapman and Hall, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Cross DG (1970) The tolerance of grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella (Val.) to seawater. J Fish Biol 2:231–233 doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8649.1970.tb03279.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davis SM, Childers DL, Lorenz JJ, Wanless HR, Hopkins TE (2005) A conceptual model of ecological interactions in the mangrove estuaries of the Florida Everglades. Wetlands 25:832–842 doi: 10.1672/0277-5212(2005)025[0832:ACMOEI]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Faunce CH, Lorenz JJ (2000) Reproductive biology of the introduced Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus, within an estuarine mangrove habitat of southern Florida. Environ Biol Fishes 58:215–225 doi: 10.1023/A:1007670526228 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Faunce CH, Paperno R (1999) Tilapia-dominated fish assemblages within an impounded mangrove estuary in east-central Florida. Wetlands 19:126–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Faunce CH, Patterson HM, Lorenz JJ (2001) Age, growth, and mortality of the Mayan cichlid (Cichlasoma urophthalmus) from the southeastern Everglades. Fish Bull (Wash D C) 100:42–50Google Scholar
  17. Favorito SE, Zanata AM, Assumpcao MI (2005) A new Synbranchus (Teleostei: Synbranchiformes: Synbranchidae) from ilha de Marajo, Para, Brazil, with notes on its reproductive biology and larval development. Neotrop Ichthyol 3:319–328 doi: 10.1590/S1679-62252005000300001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hackney CT, de la Cruz AA (1981) Some notes on the macrofauna of an oligohaline tidal creek in Mississippi. Bull Mar Sci 31:658–661Google Scholar
  19. Hittle C, Patino E, Zucker M (2001) Freshwater flow from estuarine creeks into northeastern Florida Bay. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4164Google Scholar
  20. Hoffmeister JE (1974) Land from the sea, the geologic story of south Florida. University of Miami Press, Coral Gables, FloridaGoogle Scholar
  21. Kaplan EL, Meier P (1958) Nonparametric estimation from incomplete observations. J Am Stat Assoc 53:188–193 doi: 10.2307/2281868 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liem KF (1963) Sex reversal as a natural process in the synbranchiform fish Monopterus albus. Copeia 1963:303–312 doi: 10.2307/1441348 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liem KF (1987) Functional design of the air ventilation apparatus and overland excursions by teleosts. Fieldiana Zool 37:1–29Google Scholar
  24. Lim KKP, Ng PKL (1990) A guide to the freshwater fishes of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  25. Loftus WF (1988) Distribution and ecology of exotic fishes in Everglades National Park. In: Thomas LK (ed) Management of exotic species in natural communities. Proceedings 1986 Conference on Science in the National Parks, Ft. Collins, Colorado, pp 24–34Google Scholar
  26. Loftus WF, Kushlan JA (1987) Freshwater fishes of southern Florida. Bull Fla State Mus Biol Sci 31:147–344Google Scholar
  27. Lorenz JJ, Serafy JE (2006) Subtropical wetland fish assemblages and changing salinity regimes: implications for everglades restoration. Hydrobiologia 569:401–422 doi: 10.1007/s10750-006-0145-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lundberg JG (1993) African-South American freshwater fish clades and continental drift: Problems with a paradigm. In: Goldblatt P (ed) Biological relationships between Africa and South America. Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, pp 156–199Google Scholar
  29. McIvor CC, Odum WE (1988) Food, predation risk, and microhabitat selection in a marsh fish assemblage. Ecology 69:1341–1351 doi: 10.2307/1941632 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Meador MR, Kelso WE (1990) Behavior and movements of largemouth bass in response to salinity. Trans Am Fish Soc 118:409–415 doi: 10.1577/1548-8659(1989)118<0409:BAMOLB>2.3.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Miller RR (1966) Geographical distribution of Central American freshwater fishes. Copeia 1966:773–802 doi: 10.2307/1441406 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Moyle PB, Cech JJ Jr (1988) Fishes: an introduction to ichthyology. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  33. Myers GS (1949) Salt-tolerance of fresh-water fish groups in relation to zoogeographical problems. Bijdr Dierkd 28:315–322Google Scholar
  34. Nelson JS (2006) Fishes of the world, 4th edn. Wiley, Hoboken, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  35. Nordlie FG, Haney DC, Walsh SJ (1992) Comparisons of salinity tolerances and osmotic regulatory capabilities in populations of sailfin molly (Poecilia latipinna) from brackish and fresh waters. Copeia 1992:741–746 doi: 10.2307/1446150 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Perdices A, Doadrio I, Bermingham E (2005) Evolutionary history of the synbranchid eels (Teleostei: Synbranchidae) in Central America and the Caribbean islands inferred from their molecular phylogeny. Mol Phylogenet Evol 37:460–473 doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2005.01.020 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Peterson MS (1988) Comparative physiological ecology of centrarchids in hyposaline environments. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 45:827–833 doi: 10.1139/f88-100 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Peterson MS, Meador MR (1994) Effects of salinity on freshwater fishes in coastal plain drainages in the southeastern United States. Rev Fish Sci 2:95–121 doi: 10.1080/10641269409388554 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pusey B, Kennard M, Arthington A (2004) Freshwater fishes of North-Eastern Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  40. Rehage JS, Loftus WF (2007) Seasonal fish community variation in the upper stretches of mangrove creeks in the southwestern Everglades: the role of creeks as dry-down refuges. Bull Mar Sci 80:625–645Google Scholar
  41. Rosen DE (1974) Phylogeny and zoogeography of salmoniform fishes and relationships of Lepidogalaxias salmandroides. Bull Am Mus Nat Hist 153:267–325Google Scholar
  42. Rosen DE, Greenwood PH (1976) A fourth Neotropical species of synbranchid eel and the phylogeny and systematics of synbranchiform fishes. Bull Am Mus Nat Hist 157:1–69Google Scholar
  43. Rozas LP, Hackney CT (1984) Use of oligohaline marshes by fishes and macrofaunal crustaceans in North Carolina. Estuaries 7:213–244 doi: 10.2307/1352141 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Savage IR (1956) Contributions to the theory of order statistics—the two sample case. Ann Math Stat 27:590–615 doi: 10.1214/aoms/1177728170 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schofield PJ, Nico LG (2007) Toxicity of 5% rotenone to nonindigenous Asian swamp eels. N Am J Fish Manage 27:453–459 doi: 10.1577/M05-206.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schwartz FJ (1964) Natural salinity tolerances of some freshwater fishes. Underwat Nat 2:13–15Google Scholar
  47. Serafy JE, Faunce CH, Lorenz JJ (2003) Mangrove shoreline fishes of Biscayne Bay, Florida. Bull Mar Sci 72:161–180Google Scholar
  48. Serov DV, Nezdoliy VK, Pavlov DS (2003) Fishes of the River Cai (Vietnam; Khanh Hoa Province). GEOS, MoscowGoogle Scholar
  49. Smith HM (1945) The fresh-water fishes of Siam, or Thailand. Smith Instit. US Nat Mus Bull 18:1–622Google Scholar
  50. Susanto GN, Peterson MS (1996) Survival, osmoregulation and oxygen consumption of YOY coastal largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides (Lacepede) exposed to saline media. Hydrobiologia 323:119–128 doi: 10.1007/BF00017589 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Swift C, Yerger RW, Parrish PR (1977) Distribution and natural history of the fresh and brackish water of the Ochlockonee River, Florida and Georgia. Bull Tall Timbers Res Sta 20:1–111Google Scholar
  52. Talwar PK, Jhingran AG (1991) Inland fishes of India and adjacent countries, vol 2. Oxford and IBH Publishing, New Delhi, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  53. Tay ASL, Chew SF, Ip YK (2003) The swamp eel Monopterus albus reduces endogenous ammonia production and detoxifies ammonia to glutamine during aerial exposure. J Exp Biol 206:2473–2486 doi: 10.1242/jeb.00464 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Trexler JC, Loftus WF, Jordan F, Lorenz JJ, Chick JH, Kobza RM (2000) Empirical assessment of fish introductions in a subtropical wetland: an evaluation of contrasting views. Biol Invas 2:265–277 doi: 10.1023/A:1011488118444 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tyler JC, Feller IC (1996) Caribbean marine occurrence in mangroves of a typically fresh-water synbranchiform fish. Gulf Mex Sci 1:26–30Google Scholar

Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyFlorida Integrated Science CenterGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations