Biological Invasions

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 1229–1241 | Cite as

Introductions of non-native fishes into a heavily modified river: rates, patterns and management issues in the Paranapanema River (Upper Paraná ecoregion, Brazil)

  • Diego Azevedo Zoccal Garcia
  • John Robert Britton
  • Ana Paula Vidotto-Magnoni
  • Mário Luís Orsi
Original Paper


Understanding the pathways and impacts of non-native species is important for helping prevent new introductions and invasions. This is frequently challenging in regions where human activities continue to promote new introductions, such as in Brazil, where aquaculture and sport fishing are mainly dependent on non-native fishes. Here, the non-native fish diversity of the Paranapanema River basin of the Upper Paraná River ecoregion, Brazil, was quantified fully for the first time. This river has been subject to considerable alteration through hydroelectric dam construction and concomitant development of aquaculture and sport fishing. Through compilation of a non-native fish inventory by literature review, with complementary records from recent field studies, analyses were completed on the timings of introduction, and the taxonomy, origin and introduction vectors of the non-native fishes. A total of 47 non-native fishes are now present across the basin. Of these, 24 invaded from the Lower Paraná River following construction of Itaipu Dam that connected previously unconnected fish assemblages. Activities including fish stocking, aquaculture and sport angling continue to result in new introductions. Discounting Itaipu invasions, the introduction rate between 1950 and 2014 was approximately one new introduction every 3 years. Introduced fish were mainly of the Cichlidae and Characidae families; most species were from other South American ecoregions, but fishes of African, Asian, North American and Central American origin were also present. These introductions have substantially modified the river’s fish fauna; when coupled with altered lentic conditions caused by impoundment, this suggests that the river’s native fishes are increasingly threatened.


Biodiversity Invasion Aquaculture Hydroelectric dams Hydropower 



We thank Fernando Jerep and José Birindelli (MZUEL), Carla S. Pavanelli (Nupelia-UEM), and Heraldo A. Britski (MZUSP) by the clarification about the origin of some non-native species; Sandro G. Britto by provided reports; and Lepib co-workers by provided help in field samples.

Supplementary material

10530_2017_1623_MOESM1_ESM.doc (332 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 332 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego Azevedo Zoccal Garcia
    • 1
  • John Robert Britton
    • 2
  • Ana Paula Vidotto-Magnoni
    • 3
  • Mário Luís Orsi
    • 3
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Biológicas, Laboratório de Ecologia de Peixes e Invasões BiológicasUniversidade Estadual de LondrinaLondrinaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and TechnologyBournemouth UniversityPooleUK
  3. 3.Laboratório de Ecologia de Peixes e Invasões BiológicasUniversidade Estadual de LondrinaLondrinaBrazil

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