Non-native fishes have been known from freshwater ecosystems of Florida since the 1950s, and dozens of species have established self-sustaining populations. Nonetheless, no synthesis of data collected on those species in Florida has been published until now. We searched the literature for peer-reviewed publications reporting original data for 42 species of non-native fishes in Florida that are currently established, were established in the past, or are sustained by human intervention. Since the 1950s, the number of non-native fish species increased steadily at a rate of roughly six new species per decade. Studies documented (in decreasing abundance): geographic location/range expansion, life- and natural-history characteristics (e.g., diet, habitat use), ecophysiology, community composition, population structure, behaviour, aquatic-plant management, and fisheries/aquaculture. Although there is a great deal of taxonomic uncertainty and confusion associated with many taxa, very few studies focused on clarifying taxonomic ambiguities of non-native fishes in the State. Most studies were descriptive; only 15 % were manipulative. Risk assessments, population-control studies and evaluations of effects of non-native fishes were rare topics for research, although they are highly valued by natural-resource managers. Though some authors equated lack of data with lack of effects, research is needed to confirm or deny conclusions. Much more is known regarding the effects of lionfish (Pterois spp.) on native fauna, despite its much shorter establishment time. Natural-resource managers need biological and ecological information to make policy decisions regarding non-native fishes. Given the near-absence of empirical data on effects of Florida non-native fishes, and the lengthy time-frames usually needed to collect such information, we provide suggestions for data collection in a manner that may be useful in the evaluation and prediction of non-native fish effects.
|Title||Non-native fishes in Florida freshwaters: a literature review and synthesis|
|Authors||Pamela J. Schofield, William F. Loftus|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Southeast Ecological Science Center|