Introduction of the invasive Asian cyprinid fish Pseudorasbora parva into a 0.3 ha pond in England with a fish assemblage that included Cyprinus carpio, Rutilus rutilus and Scardinius erythrophthalmus resulted in their establishment of a numerically dominant population in only 2 years; density estimates exceeded 60 ind. m(-2) and they comprised > 99% of fish present. Stable isotope analysis (SIA) revealed significant trophic overlap between P. parva, R. rutilus and C. carpio, a shift associated with significantly depressed somatic growth in R. rutilus. Despite these changes, fish community composition remained similar between the ponds. Comparison with SIA values collected from an adjacent pond free of P. parva revealed a simplified food web in P. parva presence, but with an apparent trophic position shift for several fishes, including S. erythrophthalmus which appeared to assimilate energy at a higher trophic level, probably through P. parva consumption. The marked isotopic shifts shown in all taxa in the P. parva invaded pond (C-13-enriched, N-15 depleted) were indicative of a shift to a cyanobacteria-dominated phytoplankton community. These findings provide an increased understanding of the ecological consequences of the ongoing P. parva invasion of European freshwater ecosystems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics