Turbidity alters pre-mating social interactions between native and invasive stream fishes

Freshwater Biology
By: , and 



  1. Environmental degradation can result in the loss of aquatic biodiversity if impairment promotes hybridisation between non-native and native species. Although aquatic biological invasions involving hybridisation have been attributed to elevated water turbidity, the extent to which impaired clarity influences reproductive isolation among non-native and native species is poorly understood.
  2. We examined whether turbidity influences intraspecific and interspecific pre-mating social interactions between invasive red shiner (Cyprinella lutrensis) and native blacktail shiner (Cyprinella venusta) from the Upper Coosa River Basin (U.S.A.).
  3. We found that the number or duration of conspecific and heterospecific interactions increased under turbid conditions. Additionally, we found evidence indicating that native blacktail shiner females are especially likely to interact with invasive red shiner males due to species- and sex-specific responses to turbid conditions.
  4. These findings suggest that elevated turbidity can increase pre-mating social interactions between native and invasive species, which could result in greater hybridisation and promote the genetic assimilation of native species following species introductions. Thus, integrating knowledge of species behaviour into conservation and management planning can help deter the establishment and spread of invasive species.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Turbidity alters pre-mating social interactions between native and invasive stream fishes
Series title Freshwater Biology
DOI 10.1111/fwb.12610
Volume 60
Issue 9
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 1784
Last page 1793
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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