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Evaluation of factors associated with dynamics of Cichla ocellaris invasion of the Upper Paraná River floodplain system, Brazil

Luis A. Espínola A E , Carolina V. Minte-Vera B , Horacio F. Júlio Junior B , Luciano N. Santos C and Kirk O. Winemiller D

A Instituto Nacional de Limnología (INALI-CONICET-UNL), Santa Fe, Argentina.
B Departamento de Biologia/NUPELIA, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brasil.
C Departamento de Ecologia e Recursos Marinhos, Universidade do Estado de Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
D Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
E Corresponding author. Email: laespn@gmail.com

Marine and Freshwater Research - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF13105
Submitted: 20 April 2013  Accepted: 23 April 2014   Published online: 17 October 2014


 
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Abstract

Invasion by Cichla ocellaris was studied in the Upper Paraná River floodplain. Generalised linear models and the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) were applied to standardised gill-net catch data (CPUE), with years, rivers, secchi depth, and their respective interactions. Generalised additive models and AIC were used to evaluate relationships of CPUE for C. ocellaris with standard length, sampling year and secchi depth. C. ocellaris was first recorded in 1992 in the Paraná and Ivinheima Rivers. Nevertheless, the CPUE of individuals was very low in the latter until 2000, and the species was not recorded from the Baía River until 2000. In 2001, CPUE of C. ocellaris greatly increased (from 20 to 140) in all three rivers, and this coincided with changes in hydrology and suspended sediment. Greater secchi depth is thought to benefit foraging by these visually oriented, diurnal piscivores. The estimated annual growth rate for local populations was 21% for the Paraná, 42% for the Ivinheima, and 73% for the Baía Rivers. Consequently, relative to other populations, C. ocellaris of the Baía River and, to a lesser degree, the Ivinheima River, appear to be less influenced by density-dependent factors given their more recent invasions of those areas.

Additional keywords: body size, invasive species, piscivore, population density, population dynamics, secchi depth.


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