Biological Invasions

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 89–102 | Cite as

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

  • Filipe RibeiroEmail author
  • Benigno Elvira
  • Maria João Collares-Pereira
  • Peter B. Moyle
Original Paper


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.


Profiling alien fishes Mediterranean region Invasive species Establishment Spread Integration 



Comments were highly appreciated from P. Crain, A.F. Filipe, M. Marchetti, T. Light and other fish ecologists in the Moyle laboratory. We would like to thank to C.M. Woodley for helping us to categorize the physiological tolerances of each species. The authors are indebted to several colleagues that contributed with valuable information on some non-native fishes, especially A. de Sostoa. T. Marques was for statistical advising. This manuscript was considerably improved by two anonymous reviewers. F. Ribeiro was supported by FCT and FSE, 3° Quadro Comunitário de Apoio (SFRH/BD/8308/2002).


  1. Alcaraz C, Vila-Gispert A, García-Berthou E (2005) Profiling invasive fish species: the importance of phylogeny and human use. Divers Distrib 11:289–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almaça C (1995) Fish species and varieties introduced into Portuguese inland waters. Publicações Avulsas do Museu Bocage, LisbonGoogle Scholar
  3. Baltz DM, Moyle PB (1993) Invasion resistance to introduced species by a native assemblage of California stream fishes. Ecol Appl 3:246–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banarescu PM (1999) The freshwater fishes of Europe, vol 5/I Cyprinidae 2, part 1: Rhodeus to Capoeta. Aula-Verlag, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  5. Bernardo JM, Ilhéu M, Matono P, Costa AM (2003) Interannual variation of fish assemblage structure in a mediterranean river: implications of stream flow on the dominance of native or exotic species. River Res Appl 19:521–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caiola N, de Sostoa A (2002) First record of the Asiatic cyprinid Pseudorasbora parva in the Iberian Peninsula. J Fish Biol 61:1058–1060CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cambray JA (2003) Impact on indigenous species biodiversity caused by the globalisation of non-native recreational freshwater fisheries. Hydrobiologia 500:217–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Clavero M, García-Berthou E (2006) Homogenization dynamics and introduction routes of invasive freshwater fish in the Iberian Peninsula. Ecol Appl 16:2313–2324PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clavero M, Blanco-Garrido F, Prenda J (2004) Fish fauna in Iberian Mediterranean river basins: biodiversity, introduced species and damming impacts. Aquat Conserv 14:575–585CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Collares-Pereira MJ, Cowx IG, Ribeiro F, Rodrigues JA, Rogado L (2000) Threats imposed by water resources development schemes on the conservation of the endangered fish species in the Guadiana River, Portugal. Fish Manag Ecol 7:167–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Copp GH, Bianco PG, Bogutskaya NG, Erős T, Falka I, Ferreira MT, Fox MG, Freyhof J, Gozlan RE, Grabowska J, Kováč V, Moreno-Amich R, Naseka AM, Peňáz M, Povž M, Przybylski M, Robillard M, Russell IC, Stakėnas S, Šumer S, Vila-Gispert A, Wiesner C (2005) To be, or not to be, a non-native freshwater fish? J Appl Ichthyol 21:242–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cowx IG (ed) (1998) Stocking and introduction of fish. Fishing News Books/Blackwell Science, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Cowx IG (2002) Analysis of threats to freshwater fish conservation: past and present challenges. In: Collares-Pereira MJ, Cowx IG, Coelho MM (eds) Conservation of freshwater fishes: options for the future. Fishing News Books/Blackwell Science, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  14. Cowx IG, Collares-Pereira MJ (2000) Conservation of endangered fish species in the face of water resource development schemes in the Guadiana river, Portugal: harmony of the incompatible. In: Cowx IG (ed) Management and ecology of River Fisheries. Fishing News Books/Blackwell Science, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  15. Doadrio I (2001) Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Peces Continentales de España. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, MadridGoogle Scholar
  16. Elvira B (1995) Native and exotic freshwater fishes in Spanish river basins. Freshw Biol 33:103–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Elvira B (1998) Impact of introduced fish on the native freshwater fish fauna of Spain. In: Cowx IG (ed) Stocking and introduction of fish. Fishing News Books, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  18. Elvira B (2001) Peces exóticos introducidos en España. In: Doadrio I (ed) Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Peces Continentales de España. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, MadridGoogle Scholar
  19. Elvira B, Almodóvar A (2001) Freshwater fish introductions in Spain: facts and figures at the beginning of the 21st century. J Fish Biol 59(Suppl A):323–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Elvira B, Almodóvar A, Nicola GG (1998) Fish communities of the middle-upper Tagus river (central Spain): a story of river regulation and exotic introductions. Pol Arch Hydrobiol 45:165–171Google Scholar
  21. FAO Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service (2003) Fishery records collections, FIGIS data collection FAO, Rome. Cited 21 Dec 2005Google Scholar
  22. Filipe AF, Cowx IG, Collares-Pereira MJ (2002) Spatial modelling of freshwater fishes in a semi-arid river system: a tool for conservation. River Res Appl 18:123–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Filipe AF, Marques T, Seabra S, Tiago P, Ribeiro F, Moreira da Costa L, Cowx IG, Collares-Pereira MJ (2004) Selection of priority areas for fish conservation in Guadiana River Basin, Iberian Peninsula. Conserv Biol 18:189–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. García-Berthou E, Alcaraz C, Pou-Rovira Q, Zamora L, Coenders G, Feo C (2005) Introduction pathways and establishment rates of invasive aquatic species in Europe. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 62:453–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gehrke PC, Harris JH (2001) Regional-scale effects of flow regulation on lowland riverine fish communities in New South Wales, Australia. Regul River 17:369–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Gido KB, Schaefer JF, Pigg J (2004) Patterns of fish invasions in the Great Plains of North America. Biol Conserv 118:121–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S (2000) Applied logistic regression. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  28. Kolar CS, Lodge DM (2001) Progress in invasion biology: predicting invaders. Trends Ecol Evol 16:199–204PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kolar CS, Lodge DM (2002) Ecological predictions and risk assessments for non-native species. Science 298:1233–1236PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lelek A (1987) Threatened fishes of Europe. The freshwater fishes of Europe, vol 9. Aula-Verlag, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar
  31. Lodge DM (1993) Biological invasions: lessons for ecology. Trends Ecol Evol 8:133–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Loubens G, Panfili J (2001) Biologie de Piaractus brachypomus (Teleostei: Serrasalmidae) dans le bassin du Mamoré (Amazonie Bolivienne). Ichthyol Explor Fresh 12:51–64Google Scholar
  33. Magalhães MF (1993) Feeding of an Iberian stream cyprinid assemblage—seasonality of resource use in a highly variable environment. Oecologia 96:253–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Magalhães MF, Schlosser IJ, Collares-Pereira MJ (2003) The role of life history in the relationship between population dynamics and environmental variability in two Mediterranean stream fishes. J Fish Biol 63:300–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Marchetti MP, Moyle PB (2001) Effects of flow regime on fish assemblages in a regulated California stream. Ecol Appl 11:530–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Marchetti MP, Light T, Moyle PB, Viers JH (2004a) Fish invasion in California watersheds: testing hypotheses using landscape patterns. Ecol Appl 14:1507–1525CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Marchetti MP, Moyle PB, Levine R (2004b) Non-native fishes in California watersheds: characteristics of successful and failed invaders. Ecol Appl 14:587–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Marchetti MP, Moyle PB Levine R (2004c) Invasive species profiling? Exploring the characteristics of non-native fishes across invasion stages in California. Freshwater Biol 49:646–661CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Marta P, Bochechas J, Collares-Pereira MJ (2001) Importance of recreational fisheries in the Guadiana River Basin in Portugal. Fish Manag Ecol 8:345–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Moyle PB (2002) Inland fishes of California, 2nd edn. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  41. Moyle PB, Light T (1996a) Biological invasions of fresh water: empirical rules and assembly theory. Biol Conserv 78:149–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Moyle PB, Light T (1996b) Fish invasions in California: do abiotic factors determine success? Ecology 77:1666–1670CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Moyle PB, Marchetti MP (2006) Predicting invasion success: freshwater fishes in California as a model. Bioscience 56:515–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pimentel D (2005) Aquatic nuisance species in the New York state canal and Hudson river systems and the Great Lakes: an economic and environmental assessment. Environ Manage 35:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pimentel D, Lach L, Zuniga R, Morrison D (2000) Environmental and economic costs of nonindigenous species in the United States. Bioscience 50:53–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Rahel FJ (2000) Homogenization of fish faunas across the United States. Science 288:854–856PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rosecchi E, Thomas F, Crivelli AJ (2001) Can life-history traits predict the fate of introduced species? A case study on two cyprinid fish in southern France. Freshwater Biol 46:845–853CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sakai AK, Allendorf FW, Holt JS, Lodge DM, Molofsky J, With KA, Baughman S, Cabin RJ, Cohen JE, Ellstrand NC, McCauley DE, O’Neil P, Parker IM, Thompson JN, Weller SG (2001) The population biology of invasive species. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 32:305–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Siegel S, Castellan NJ (1988) Nonparametric statistics for the behavioural sciences. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  50. Spillmann CJ (1961) Faune de France—Poissons d’Eau Douce. 5 Le Chavallier, ParisGoogle Scholar
  51. Tabachnick BG, Fidell LS (2001) Using multivariate statistics. Allyn & Bacon, Needham HeightsGoogle Scholar
  52. Valladolid M, Przybylski M (1996) Feeding relations among cyprinids in the Lozoya River (Madrid, central Spain). Pol Ach Hydrobiol 43:213–223Google Scholar
  53. Vila-Gispert A, Alcaraz C, García-Berthou E (2005) Life-history traits of invasive fish in small Mediterranean streams. Biol Invasions 7:107–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Welcomme RL (1998) International introductions of inland aquatic species. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  55. Zar JH (1999) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice-Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filipe Ribeiro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benigno Elvira
    • 2
  • Maria João Collares-Pereira
    • 1
  • Peter B. Moyle
    • 3
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências, Centro de Biologia AmbientalUniversidade de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Zoology and Physical Anthropology, Faculty of BiologyComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

Personalised recommendations