Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) translocations, including hitchhiker introductions, alter zooplankton communities in receiving ponds

Suzanne N. Branford A and Ian C. Duggan A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Environmental Research Institute, School of Science, The University of Waikato, Private Bag 3015, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.

B Corresponding author. Email: i.duggan@waikato.ac.nz

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF17051
Submitted: 24 February 2017  Accepted: 20 April 2017   Published online: 29 June 2017

Abstract

In the present study we tested the effects of translocations from aquaculture facilities of grass carp, one of the most commonly used species in aquaculture globally, to constructed ponds in the Auckland region, New Zealand. Primarily, we were interested in whether zooplankton assemblages in recipient ponds are affected by the concomitant introduction of ‘hitchhikers’ with fish releases. Zooplankton community composition was quantified in 34 ponds that had been subject to grass carp release and 31 that had no grass carp introductions. A significant difference in zooplankton community composition was observed between ponds that had received grass carp translocations and those that had not. Differences in community composition between ponds with and without carp releases could be attributed to both the: (1) effects of activity of grass carp through habitat modification; and (2) establishment of hitchhiking zooplankton species originating from aquaculture ponds, including non-native species. Effective measures to curb the proliferation of non-native taxa within aquaculture facilities, and to mitigate the accidental movement of non-native taxa with translocations from these facilities, are required to reduce future zooplankton introductions.

Additional keywords: aquaculture, calanoid copepods, Daphnia pulex, exotic species, invasion vectors, Skistodiaptomus pallidus.


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