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Secondary invasion of the round goby into high diversity Great Lakes tributaries and species at risk hotspots: potential new concerns for endangered freshwater species

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Abstract

The round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) first invaded North America in 1990 when it was discovered in the St. Clair River. Despite more than 15 years of potential invasion, many Great Lakes’ lotic systems remained uninvaded. Recently, we captured the round goby from several Great Lakes tributaries known as species-at-risk hotspots. With a combination of field sampling of round gobies and literature review of the impact of round gobies on native taxa, we assess the potential impacts of the secondary invasion to native species using three mechanisms: competition; predation; and indirect impacts from the loss of obligate mussel hosts. We estimate that 89% (17/19) of benthic fishes and 17% (6/36) of mussels that occur in these systems are either known or suspected to be impacted by the secondary invasion of round goby. In particular, we note that the distribution of potential impacts of round goby invasion was largely associated with species with a conservation designation, including seven endangered species (1 fish, 6 mussels). As these recent captures of round goby represent novel occurrences in high diversity watersheds, understanding the potential impacts of secondary invasion to native biota is fundamental to prevent species declines and to allow early mitigation.

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Acknowledgments

Funding was provided by NSERC and OGS Scholarships to M.S.P., ESRF, SARCEP, and NSERC Discovery Grants to J.D.A, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, University of Guelph and the University of Toronto. Field work of A.J.D. was supported by World Wildlife Fund Canada’s Endangered Species Recovery Fund, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Trent University. We thank K. McNichols (University of Guelph), N.E. Mandrak (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), D. DePasquale, Rob McLaughlin (University of Guelph), Scott Reid (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), M. Veliz (Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority), and John Zoltak (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters) for providing additional data for this study. Also we thank D.A.R. Rubington, D.A. Jackson, and A. Strecker for helpful suggestions and discussions on this paper. We thank D. Lodge and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

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Correspondence to Mark Poos.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 3 and 4.

Table 3 List of small benthic fish species found in the lower Great Lakes and in species-at-risk hotspots and the predicted impacts from the secondary invasion from the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus)
Table 4 List of mussel species found in the lower Great Lakes and in species-at-risk hotspots and the potential impacts from the secondary invasion of round goby

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Poos, M., Dextrase, A.J., Schwalb, A.N. et al. Secondary invasion of the round goby into high diversity Great Lakes tributaries and species at risk hotspots: potential new concerns for endangered freshwater species. Biol Invasions 12, 1269–1284 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-009-9545-x

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