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Salinity tolerance of non-native Asian swamp eels (Teleostei: Synbranchidae) in Florida, USA: Comparison of three populations and implications for dispersal

January 1, 2009

Three populations of non-native Asian swamp eels are established in peninsular Florida (USA), and comprise two different genetic lineages. To assess potential for these fish to penetrate estuarine habitats or use coastal waters as dispersal routes, we determined their salinity tolerances. Swamp eels from the three Florida populations were tested by gradual (chronic) salinity increases; additionally, individuals from the Miami population were tested by abrupt (acute) salinity increases. Results showed significant tolerance by all populations to mesohaline waters: Mean survival time at 14 ppt was 63 days. The Homestead population, a genetically distinct lineage, exhibited greater tolerance to higher salinity than Tampa and Miami populations. Acute experiments indicated that swamp eels were capable of tolerating abrupt shifts from 0 to 16 ppt, with little mortality over 10 days. The broad salinity tolerance demonstrated by these experiments provides evidence that swamp eels are physiologically capable of infiltrating estuarine environments and using coastal waters to invade new freshwater systems. ?? 2009 US Government.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2009
Title Salinity tolerance of non-native Asian swamp eels (Teleostei: Synbranchidae) in Florida, USA: Comparison of three populations and implications for dispersal
DOI 10.1007/s10641-009-9456-9
Authors P. J. Schofield, L.G. Nico
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Biology of Fishes
Series Number
Index ID 70034913
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization