The invasive potential of tilapias (Osteichthyes, Cichlidae) in the Americas

Abstract

The invasion of tilapia can result in substantial impacts on native communities. Thus, understanding the spatial dynamics of invasions may help prevent future introductions and mitigate impacts. This study estimated the environmentally suitable areas for occurrence of eight tilapia species (genera Coptodon, Oreochromis, Pelmatolapia, and Sarotherodon) in the Americas and their invasive potential using Ecological Niche Models (ENMs). The United States is the most invaded country, receiving all tilapia species. In South America, the southeast and south regions of Brazil are highlighted as the areas where two species are concentrated. The ENMs predicted that all tilapia species have high invasive potential in the Americas, and despite having more tilapias in North America, South and Central Americas are more susceptible to tilapia invasion. All South American basins were predicted to harbor tilapia species that have not yet arrived on the subcontinent. Our study evidences the need to implement management measures and governmental policies in the Americas to deal with problems caused by tilapia introductions. In North America, the focus is on the control of tilapia populations and in Central and South America priority should be given to contention of introduction processes.

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Acknowledgements

We thank UEM/NUPELIA for providing the institutional infrastructure. F.A.S. Cassemiro was supported by DTI/CNPq fellowship, D. Bailly was supported by CAPES/PNPD post-doctoral fellowship, and A.A. Agostinho was supported by CNPq. W.J. da Graça acknowledges the financial support from CNPq and Fundação Araucária (Seti-PR). The authors are grateful to T.F. Rangel to make available the Bioensembles computational platform. The authors also thank H.F. Júlio-Jr and J.C.G. Ortega for contributing with information in Table 1.

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Guest editors: John E. Havel, Sidinei M. Thomaz, Lee B. Kats, Katya E. Kovalenko & Luciano N. Santos / Aquatic Invasive Species II

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Cassemiro, F.A.S., Bailly, D., da Graça, W.J. et al. The invasive potential of tilapias (Osteichthyes, Cichlidae) in the Americas. Hydrobiologia 817, 133–154 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-017-3471-1

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Keywords

  • Aquaculture
  • Biological invasions
  • Ecological niche models
  • Invasive species
  • Species distribution models