Catchment-scale determinants of nonindigenous minnow richness in the eastern United States

Ecology of Freshwater Fish
By: , and 



Understanding the drivers of biological invasions is critical for preserving aquatic biodiversity. Stream fishes make excellent model taxa for examining mechanisms driving species introduction success because their distributions are naturally limited by catchment boundaries. In this study, we compared the relative importance of catchment-scale abiotic and biotic predictors of native and nonindigenous minnow (Cyprinidae) richness in 170 catchments throughout the eastern United States. We compared historic and contemporary cyprinid distributional data to determine catchment-wise native/nonindigenous status for 152 species. Catchment-scale model predictor variables described natural (elevation, precipitation, flow accumulation) and anthropogenic (developed land cover, number of dams) abiotic features, as well as native congener richness. Native congener richness may represent either biotic resistance via interspecific competition, or trait preadaptation according to Darwin's naturalisation hypothesis. We used generalised linear mixed models to examine evidence supporting the relative roles of abiotic and biotic predictors of cyprinid introduction success. Native congener richness was positively correlated with nonindigenous cyprinid richness and was the most important variable predicting nonindigenous cyprinid richness. Mean elevation had a weak positive effect, and effects of other abiotic factors were insignificant and less important. Our results suggest that at this spatial scale, trait preadaptation may be more important than intrageneric competition for determining richness of nonindigenous fishes.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Catchment-scale determinants of nonindigenous minnow richness in the eastern United States
Series title Ecology of Freshwater Fish
DOI 10.1111/eff.12331
Volume 27
Issue 1
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Leetown
Description 8 p.
First page 138
Last page 145
Country United States
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