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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 6(5)

Carp chemical sensing and the potential of natural environmental attractants for control of carp: a review

Aaron Elkins A B, Russell Barrow B, Simone Rochfort A C

A Biosciences Research Division, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, 1 Park Drive, La Trobe University, Vic. 3083, Australia.
B Research School of Chemistry, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: simone.rochfort@dpi.vic.gov.au
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Environmental context. Carp are responsible for causing significant damage to lakes and rivers resulting in highly turbid water impacting native fish. At present there are no effective ways to manage the damage caused by carp or eradicate them, but the efficiency of carp removal from our waterways can be enhanced by the development of naturally occurring environmental attractants. As part of a broader pest management scheme the implementation of these attractants can significantly enhance the effectiveness of eradication programs and lead to the restoration of our waterways.

Abstract. Cyprinus carpio, a species of carp commonly known as European or common carp, are invasive alien species in Australian inland waters and have an extensive impact on biodiversity and the aquatic environment. The control and eradication of carp is a major focus of fisheries services throughout Australia, but at present there is no wholly successful way to limit the damage caused. An integrated pest management scheme (IPM) is the most likely approach to be effective. Such a scheme could employ current tactics such as trapping in combination with new strategies including attractants or deterrents. Among proposed attractants are environmentally derived chemicals. Carp have long been observed to prefer certain habitats and environmental conditions over others, although the reasons for such a preference are not well defined. This article reviews the current scientific literature for chemical reception and attraction in carp with an emphasis on environmentally derived attractants and the potential for use of these chemical cues to enhance IPM strategies with minimal environmental impact.

Keywords: analysis, attraction, chemical ecology, chemoreception, environment, pest management, pheromones, synthesis.

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