Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 17, Issue 12, pp 3013–3025 | Cite as

The recent occurrence, establishment and potential impact of Geophagus proximus (Cichlidae: Perciformes) in the Tietê River reservoirs: an Amazonian fish species introduced in the Paraná Basin (Brazil)

  • E. M. Moretto
  • F. T. Marciano
  • M. R. Velludo
  • N. Fenerich-Verani
  • E. L. G. Espíndola
  • O. Rocha
Original Paper


The introduction of allochthonous fish species happens constantly in large bodies of freshwater, like as the reservoirs of Paraná Basin, located in Brazilian southeast, representing a threat for local biodiversity. The fish species Plagioscion squamosissimus and Cichla ocellaris were introduced from the 1970s in several water bodies of this basin and had successfully established themselves in all six reservoirs located in the middle and lower Tietê River (SP, Brazil), particularly. After six decades from the first recorded species introduction, this hydrographic system remains open to the invasion of further fish species, owing to widespread fish-farming activity and by the channels opened between this system and other reservoirs and river basin. This study was an effort to confirm the Geophagus proximus occurrence in the six Tietê River reservoirs, verifying the actual introduction status and analyzing its potential environmental impacts on local species by the analysis of the population structure (abundance, body dimensions and feeding habits). By the results, this species was confirmed in the Ibitinga, Nova Avanhandava and Três Irmãos reservoirs. The abundance and feeding analysis shows, respectively, it is successfully established in the Três Irmãos reservoir with the same feeding habitats of local species, such as Geophagus brasiliensis. It was further shown to be very likely that G. proximus would spread throughout the reservoir system of the middle and lower Tietê River, in the manner of P. squamosissimus and C. ocellaris, and the competition pressure for food resources between G. proximus and the local species which represents a potential environmental impact system. These scientific evidences fortifies the knowledge basin for the implantation of a fish management system, to control and reduce the abundance of the invader and to prevent its becoming established in all the Tietê River Basin, avoiding the disastrous consequences for the native species of Paraná River Basin.


Fish Exotic species Introduction Freshwater Reservoir Biodiversity Environmental impact 



To the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq), for the scholarship awarded during part of the period of research in fulfillment of the PhD course; to the PROBIO program of the Ministry of the Environmental, for technical and financial support for the research project; to the Museum of University of São Paulo State (Rio Preto Unity); to technicians of Federal University of São Carlos: Airton Santo Soares by identification support of G. proximus and José Valdecir de Lucca by laboratory analysis support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. M. Moretto
    • 1
  • F. T. Marciano
    • 2
  • M. R. Velludo
    • 3
  • N. Fenerich-Verani
    • 3
  • E. L. G. Espíndola
    • 2
  • O. Rocha
    • 3
  1. 1.Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH)Universidade de São Paulo (USP)São Paulo-SPBrazil
  2. 2.Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC)Universidade de São Paulo (USP)São Paulo-SPBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Ecologia e Biologia Evolutiva (DEBE)Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar)São Carlos-SPBrazil

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