Effects of a non-native cichlid fish (African jewelfish, Hemichromis letourneuxi Sauvage 1880) on a simulated Everglades aquatic community
- 433 Downloads
In an 8-month mesocosm experiment, we examined how a simulated Everglades aquatic community of small native fishes, snails, and shrimp changed with the addition of either a native predator (dollar sunfish Lepomis marginatus) or a non-native predator (African jewelfish Hemichromis letourneuxi) compared to a no-predator control. Two snail species (Planorbella duryi, Physella cubensis) and the shrimp (Palaemonetes paludosus) displayed the strongest predator-treatment effects, with significantly lower biomasses in tanks with Hemichromis. One small native fish (Heterandria formosa) was significantly less abundant in Hemichromis tanks, but there were no significant treatment effects for Gambusia holbrooki, Jordanella floridae, or Pomacea paludosa (applesnail). Overall, there were few treatment differences between native predator and no-predator control tanks. The results suggest that the potential of Hemichromis to affect basal food-web species that link primary producers with higher-level consumers in the aquatic food web, with unknown consequences for Florida waters.
KeywordsFlorida Everglades Hemichromis Invasive species Native fishes Palaemonetes Pomacea
This study was funded by the USGS Invasive Species Program and the USGS Southeast Ecological Science Center. M.E. Brown (USGS) provided technical assistance in the field and in the lab, for which we are grateful. S. Ruessler (USGS) was especially helpful in maintaining the mesocosm facility in good working order. J. Lopez graciously facilitated our collection of H. letourneuxi at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. F. Thompson (Florida Museum of Natural History) identified gastropod specimens. J. Trexler (Florida International University) and V. Engel (USGS) kindly provided comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Comments from two anonymous journal reviewers lead to substantial improvements in the manuscript, and we are grateful for their input. Fishes were collected under State of Florida Scientific Collector’s Permit FNE-2011-15. Experiments were conducted under Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) USGS/SESC 2010-03. Any use of trade, product, or firm names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the US Government.
- Bowles, D. E., K. Aziz & C. L. Knight, 2000. Macrobrachium (Decapoda: Caridea: Palaemonidae) in the contiguous United States: a review of the species and an assessment of threats to their survival. Journal of Crustacean Biology 20: 158–171.Google Scholar
- Courtenay, W. R. Jr., 1989. Exotic fishes in the National Park system. In Thomas, L. K. (ed), Proceedings of the Conference on Science in the National Parks (1986), Vol. 5, Management of Exotic Species in Natural Communities. US National Park Service and George Wright Society, Washington, DC: 3–10.Google Scholar
- Dorcas, M. E., J. D. Wilson, R. N. Reed, R. W. Snow, M. R. Rochford, M. A. Miller, W. E. Meshaka Jr, P. T. Andreadis, F. J. Mazzoti, C. M. Romagosa & K. M. Hart, 2012. Severe mammal declines coincide with proliferation of invasive Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 109: 2418–2422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fogarty, M. J. & J. D. Albury, 1967. Late summer foods of young alligators in Florida. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies 21: 220–222.Google Scholar
- Gunderson, L. H. & W. F. Loftus, 1993. The Everglades. In Martin, W. H., S. G. Boyce & A. C. Echternacht (eds), Biodiversity of the Southeastern United States: Lowland. John Wiley & Sons, New York: 199–255.Google Scholar
- ITIS, 2013. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. http://www.itis.gov. Accessed 7 Jan 2013.
- Jordan, F., K. J. Babbitt, C. C. McIvor & S. J. Miller, 2000. Contrasting patterns of habitat use by prawns and crayfish in a headwater marsh of the St. Johns River, Florida. Journal of Crustacean Biology 20: 769–776.Google Scholar
- Kushlan, J. A., 1974. The ecology of the white ibis in southern Florida: a regional study. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Miami, Miami, 129 p.Google Scholar
- Loftus, W. F., 1988. Distribution and ecology of exotic fishes. In Thomas, L. K. (ed), Proceedings of the Conference on Science in the National Parks (1986), Management of Exotic Species in Natural Communities, Vol. 5. US National Park Service and George Wright Society, Washington, DC: 24–34.Google Scholar
- Loftus, W. F., 2000. Accumulation and fate of mercury in an Everglades aquatic food web. Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida International University, Miami, 295 p.Google Scholar
- Loftus, W. F., G. Ellis, M. Zokan & J. Lorenz, 2004. Inventory of Freshwater Fish Species within the Big Cypress National Preserve: The Basis for a long-term sampling program. US Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004: 3131.Google Scholar
- Loftus, W. F. & A. M. Eklund, 1994. Long-term dynamics of an Everglades small-fish assemblage. In Davis, S. M. & J. C. Ogden (eds), Everglades: The Ecosystem and its Restoration. St. Lucie Press, Boca Raton: 461–483.Google Scholar
- Loftus, W. F. & J. A. Kushlan, 1987. Freshwater fishes of southern Florida. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 4: 147–344.Google Scholar
- Nelson, J. S., E. J. Crossman, H. Espinosa-Pérez, L. T. Findley, C. R. Gilbert, R. N. Lea & J. D. Williams, 2004. Common and Scientific Names of Fishes from the United States, Canada and Mexico, 6th ed. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 29, Bethesda.Google Scholar
- Noble, G. K. & B. Curtis, 1939. The social behavior of the jewel fish, Hemichromis bimaculatus Gill. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 76: 1–46.Google Scholar
- Nordstrom, C. A., 1998. The life history and ecology of the introduced African jewelfish, Hemichromis letourneauxi (Family: Cichlidae), in Dade County, Florida. Master’s Thesis, University of Central Florida, Orlando, 129 p.Google Scholar
- Pennak, R. W., 1989. Fresh-Water Invertebrates of the United States: Protozoa to Mollusca, 3rd ed. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York.Google Scholar
- Rader, R. B., 1994. Macroinvertebrates of the northern Everglades: species composition and trophic structure. Florida Scientist 57: 22–33.Google Scholar
- R Core Team, 2012. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna. http://www.R-project.org/. Accessed 26 Oct 2012.
- Rehage, J. S., K. Dunlop & W. F. Loftus, 2009. Mosquitofish antipredator responses to non-native cichlids: a test of the prey naiveté hypothesis. Ethology 115: 1–11.Google Scholar
- Rivas, L. R., 1965. Florida fresh water fishes and conservation. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 28: 255–258.Google Scholar
- Schoenherr, A. A., 1981. The role of competition in the replacement of native fishes by introduced species. In Naiman, R. J. & D. L. Soltz (eds), Fishes in North American Deserts. John Wiley, New York: 173–203.Google Scholar
- Shafland, P. L., K. B. Gestring & M. S. Stanford, 2008. Florida’s exotic freshwater fishes – 2007. Florida Scientist 71: 220–245.Google Scholar
- Snyder, N. F. R. & H. A. Snyder, 1969. A comparative study of mollusk predation by limpkins, Everglade kites and boat-tailed grackles. Living Bird 8: 117–223.Google Scholar
- Turgeon, D. D., J. F. Quinn Jr., A. E. Bogan, E. V. Coan, F. G. Hochberg Jr., W. G. Lyons, P. M. Mikkelsen, R. J. Neves, C. F. E. Roper, G. Rosenberg, B. Roth, A. Scheltema, F. G. Thompson, M. Vecchione, & J. D. Williams, 1998. Common and Scientific Names of Aquatic Invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks, 2nd ed. Special Publication 26. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda.Google Scholar
- USGS-NAS, 2013. U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. http://nas.er.usgs.gov. Accessed 7 Jan 2013.
- Watkins II, C. E., J. V. Shireman & W. T. Haller, 1983. The influence of aquatic vegetation upon zooplankton and benthic macroinvertebrates in Orange Lake, Florida. Journal of Aquatic Plant Management 21: 78–83.Google Scholar