Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research

Irymple, Australia

Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research

Irymple, Australia

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Copp G.H.,Center for Environment | Godard M.J.,Center for Environment | Russell I.C.,Center for Environment | Peeler E.J.,Center for Environment | And 12 more authors.
Fisheries Management and Ecology | Year: 2016

Developed for carrying out risk assessments under the European Commission (EC) Council Regulation No 708/2007 concerning the use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture (ASR), the European Non-native Species in Aquaculture Risk Assessment Scheme (ENSARS) is briefly summarised, and the 'Organism' module is applied to the 24 species listed in ASR's Annex IV. Four other ENSARS modules (Infectious Agent, Facility, Pathway, and Socio-economic) were used to assess two case study species (European catfish Silurus glanis L. and red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii Girard). No Annex IV species was categorised as low risk, 10 as moderately low risk, 12 as medium risk, two as moderately high risk and none as high risk. The results are discussed and recommendations are made on further development of the scheme as well as the need to have multiple assessors of multidisciplinary expertise from the Member States concerned carry out the assessments using an approach similar to that carried out by EU Reference Laboratory proficiency tests. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


PubMed | Complutense University of Madrid, Bournemouth University, Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research and Trent University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus (L.) are successful invaders in Europe, where this species exerts multiple ecological effects, mainly through trophic interactions. Behavioural interference represents a potential impact for native fauna and this is of particular conservation concern in the Iberian Peninsula because of the highly valuable endemic fauna inhabiting streams of this region. However, aggressive interactions have not previously been examined under natural conditions in Iberian fresh waters. To address this gap in knowledge, the aim of the present study was to assess the effect of pumpkinseed aggression on endemic fauna of an Iberian stream, the River Bullaque (central Spain). In September 2009, we analysed the aggression and environmental contexts of these behavioural interactions by snorkelling: aggressor size, aggression type, shoal size, previous activity to aggression, recipient species, response to aggression, microhabitat structure and prey availability. Small pumpkinseed displayed more threat and fewer pursuit behaviours relative to medium and large individuals, reflecting an ontogenetic behavioural shift from low to high aggression intensity. Small aggressors came from large shoals, with bottom feeding being the most frequently observed activity prior to an aggressive interaction; whereas large pumpkinseed were less gregarious and they were mostly ambulating within the water column prior to aggression. Recipient species of aggression included non-native crayfish and fishes, and more importantly, endemic fishes and frogs. Retreat was the most common response to aggression, irrespective of aggressor size. Small pumpkinseed displayed aggressive behaviours over coarse substrata containing elevated macrobenthos biomass; whereas aggression by large individuals was observed in deeper waters. These findings suggest that small and large pumpkinseed exert a high impact on other stream residents through aggression in competition for food and territory defence, respectively. This study highlights the usefulness of direct observations in the wild for assessing the effects of behavioural interference of invasive fishes on Iberian aquatic communities.


Almeida D.,Salmon and Freshwater Team | Almeida D.,Bournemouth University | Merino-Aguirre R.,Complutense University of Madrid | Vilizzi L.,Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus (L.) are successful invaders in Europe, where this species exerts multiple ecological effects, mainly through trophic interactions. Behavioural interference represents a potential impact for native fauna and this is of particular conservation concern in the Iberian Peninsula because of the highly valuable endemic fauna inhabiting streams of this region. However, aggressive interactions have not previously been examined under natural conditions in Iberian fresh waters. To address this gap in knowledge, the aim of the present study was to assess the effect of pumpkinseed aggression on endemic fauna of an Iberian stream, the River Bullaque (central Spain). In September 2009, we analysed the aggression and environmental contexts of these behavioural interactions by snorkelling: aggressor size, aggression type, shoal size, previous activity to aggression, recipient species, response to aggression, microhabitat structure and prey availability. Small pumpkinseed displayed more threat and fewer pursuit behaviours relative to medium and large individuals, reflecting an ontogenetic behavioural shift from low to high aggression intensity. Small aggressors came from large shoals, with bottom feeding being the most frequently observed activity prior to an aggressive interaction; whereas large pumpkinseed were less gregarious and they were mostly ambulating within the water column prior to aggression. Recipient species of aggression included non-native crayfish and fishes, and more importantly, endemic fishes and frogs. Retreat was the most common response to aggression, irrespective of aggressor size. Small pumpkinseed displayed aggressive behaviours over coarse substrata containing elevated macrobenthos biomass; whereas aggression by large individuals was observed in deeper waters. These findings suggest that small and large pumpkinseed exert a high impact on other stream residents through aggression in competition for food and territory defence, respectively. This study highlights the usefulness of direct observations in the wild for assessing the effects of behavioural interference of invasive fishes on Iberian aquatic communities. © 2014 Almeida et al.


Mccarthy B.,Murray Darling Freshwater Research Center | Mccarthy B.,La Trobe University | Zukowski S.,Murray Darling Freshwater Research Center | Zukowski S.,La Trobe University | And 9 more authors.
Austral Ecology | Year: 2014

Prolonged flooding in 2010/11 ended a decade of drought and produced a large-scale hypoxic blackwater event across the southern Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. The hypoxic conditions caused fish kills and Murray crayfish Euastacus armatus to emerge from the water onto the river banks to avoid the poor water quality. This study examined the medium-term impact of this blackwater event on Murray crayfish populations in the Murray River, where approximately 1800km of the main channel were affected by hypoxia. Murray crayfish populations were surveyed in July 2012, along a 1100-km section of the Murray River at 10 sites affected by hypoxic blackwater and six sites that were not affected, and data were compared with surveys of the same sites undertaken in July 2010, four months before the hypoxic blackwater event (before-after-control-impact experimental design). Murray crayfish abundance in 2012 (post-blackwater) was significantly lower at blackwater affected sites (81% reduction from 2010), but not at non-affected sites. The hypoxic blackwater impacted Murray crayfish of both sexes and all size-classes in a similar manner. The results demonstrate that prolonged periods of hypoxia can markedly impact populations of the long-lived and slow-growing Murray crayfish despite the species ability to emerge from hypoxic water. The findings highlight important challenges for the management of both the recreational fishery for this species and riverine flows in relation to hypoxic blackwater events. © 2014 Ecological Society of Australia.


Vilizzi L.,Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research | Ekmekci F.G.,Hacettepe University | Tarkan A.S.,Muǧla University | Jackson Z.J.,U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Ecology of Freshwater Fish | Year: 2015

Common carp Cyprinus carpio occurs in several non-native areas worldwide, where it is generally regarded as either naturalised or invasive. Anatolia (Turkey) represents a unique region for evaluating common carp growth, due both to its location at the southernmost range of expansion of the species' wild form and to most of its water bodies having been stocked with domesticated strains. Based on a review of length-at-age data for common carp stocks from 45 water bodies sampled between 1953 and 2007, regional patterns in growth across climates, water body types, scalation variants and sexes, along with altitudinal gradients in growth performance and mortality, were investigated. Growth rates were lower in cold and arid relative to temperate climates, and also under hot or dry summers; this was true also of the mirror relative to the scale variant, males to females, but not of water body types (i.e., man-made reservoirs, natural lakes, water courses). Growth performance and mortality decreased with increasing altitude and decreasing temperature, likely due to optimisation of resource allocation between growth and reproduction. Growth rate of common carp from Anatolia was consistently lower compared to its native (Eurasian) and, especially, invasive (North American) counterparts, which reflected an opportunistic life-history strategy. Lower growth rates in Anatolia were ascribed to lower resilience of the widespread mirror variant together with limited habitat for spawning in man-made reservoirs. Better knowledge of common carp growth in Anatolia will improve stock management and conservation efforts. Further studies will help clarify the mechanisms responsible for evolutionary genotype-phenotype inter-relationships. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S.


Vilizzi L.,Murray Darling Freshwater Research Center | Vilizzi L.,Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research | Thwaites L.A.,South Australian Research And Development Institute | Smith B.B.,Level Inc | And 2 more authors.
Marine and Freshwater Research | Year: 2014

Common carp, Cyprinus carpio, is a highly invasive fish species across freshwater systems of south-eastern Australia, and especially in semi-arid floodplain wetlands. However, multi-component, large-scale experimental studies on carp effects on such ecosystems are scarce. This is in spite of demands to prioritise management and control of carp for the rehabilitation of habitats across the Murray-Darling Basin. A 2-year, large-scale field experiment in a terminal wetland of the lower River Murray (South Australia) evaluated the effects of free-ranging carp on water transparency, aquatic macrophytes (biomass and cover), zooplankton density, benthic invertebrates (density, richness and diversity) as well as native fish. Within 1 year since artificial inundation, transparency sharply decreased and this was accompanied by a decrease in aquatic macrophyte biomass and cover, a fluctuation in zooplankton density, and a decrease in benthic invertebrate richness and diversity. Also, the decreases in transparency and benthic invertebrate richness were significantly related to carp biomass, which averaged 68.0kgha-1 and induced a shift from clear- to turbid-water state. Following a flood event, increased connectivity caused carp to further access the newly inundated areas. © CSIRO 2014.


Tarkan A.S.,Muǧla University | Guler Ekmekci F.,Hacettepe University | Vilizzi L.,Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research | Copp G.H.,Salmon and Freshwater Team | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Ichthyology | Year: 2014

The aim of the present study was to assess the invasive potential of introduced non-native and translocated fishes in Turkey (Anatolia and Thrace) by applying the Fish Invasiveness Screening Kit (FISK), a risk identification tool for freshwater fishes. From independent evaluations by two assessors of 35 species, calibration of FISK for Turkey identified a threshold score of 23, which reliably distinguished between potentially invasive (high risk) and potentially non-invasive (medium to low risk) fishes for Anatolia (Asia) and Thrace (Europe). No species was categorized as 'low risk', 18 species were categorized as 'medium risk' and 17 as 'high risk' (two being 'moderately high risk', nine 'high risk', and six 'very high risk'). The highest scoring species was gibel carp Carassius gibelio, whereas the lowest scoring species was Caucasian dwarf goby Knipowitschia caucasica, a translocated species. Assessor certainty in their responses averaged overall between 'mostly uncertain' and 'mostly certain', with red piranha Pygocentrus nattereri and topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva achieving the lowest and highest certainty values, respectively, and with overall significant differences in certainty between assessors. The results of the present study indicate that FISK is a useful and viable tool for identifying potentially invasive non-native fishes in Turkey, a country characterized by natural biogeographical frontiers. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a species of primary importance for commercial inland fisheries of Anatolia, where it is native to some areas but has become almost ubiquitous due to historical translocations. Yet, there are concerns that this 'semi-naturalised' species can ultimately pose a threat to aquatic ecosystems, especially when present at high biomass levels. For estimating the latter, knowledge of length-weight relationship (WLR) and condition factor (K) parameters is needed, and these also represent useful indicators of fish population dynamics in general. In this study, WLR and K parameter values from published literature data were comprehensively reviewed for 68 and 75 common carp stocks, respectively, from 52 water bodies across Anatolia, which were surveyed between 1953 and 2011. Overall, Anatolian common carp stocks were characterised by slightly negative allometric growth, which became more pronounced in some over-exploited stocks and/or under critical conditions of pollution and water quality. This tendency to negative allometric growth was unlike other stocks world-wide, which showed isometric growth. Also, no altitudinal gradients were detected in the parameters under study and only slight differences amongst waterbody types (i.e. man-made lakes, natural reservoirs and water courses) were revealed (possibly a result of biassed sampling). It is argued that the level of nativeness present in Anatolian common carp stocks may be responsible for the observed patterns and differences relative to domesticated/feral common carp stocks introduced to non-native areas world-wide. This finding should be accounted for when evaluating ecological benefits vs economic losses of intervention measures for control. © Published by Central Fisheries Research Institute (CFRI) Trabzon, Turkey.


Vilizzi L.,Murray Darling Freshwater Research Center | Vilizzi L.,Ichth Oz Environmental Science Research | Thwaites L.A.,South Australian Research And Development Institute | Smith B.B.,Level Inc
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia | Year: 2014

Common carp Cyprinus carpio are a declared pest fish throughout the Murray-Darling Basin. Successful management of this highly-invasive species aimed at mitigating its detrimental effects on aquatic ecosystems is therefore a priority issue for wetland restoration and rehabilitation programmes for the benefit of native fish communities. As part of a large-scale, field-based experiment on carp impacts, a population of carp was extensively sampled from 2009 to 2011 at Brenda Park wetland (lower River Murray South Australia) under both drought and flooding conditions. A consistent young-of-year (YoY) cohort was present in the 2009-10 breeding season, indicating successful spawning within the wetland. However, the same cohort appeared not to leave the wetland later in the season, possibly as a result of drought-induced low-flow conditions. Conversely there was no evidence for within-wetland spawning in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Following a major flood event in Summer/Autumn2011, a consistent stock-size (210-440 mmTL) component was present in the carp population. Despite one successful spawning event out of the three breeding seasons of sampling, it cannot be ruled out that Brenda Park can act as a recruitment hot-spot for carp, especially in light of the large-scale population dynamics of this species. Measures for wetland rehabilitation should account for this and rely on a combination of flow regulation practices, enhancement of native fish passage and integrated carp management/control measures involving use of selective traps or exclusion screens, removal programmes and, whenever feasible, water draw-downs.

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