Non-native fishes homogenize native fish communities and reduce ecosystem multifunctionality in tropical lakes over 16 years

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  • Dieison André Moi, Universidade Estadual de Maringa
  • ,
  • Diego Corrêa Alves, Universidade Estadual de Maringa
  • ,
  • Bruno Renaly Souza Figueiredo, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
  • ,
  • Pablo Augusto Poleto Antiqueira, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • ,
  • Franco Teixeira de Mello, Universidad de la Republica
  • ,
  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Gustavo Quevedo Romero, Universidade Estadual de Campinas
  • ,
  • Roger Paulo Mormul, Universidade Estadual de Maringa
  • ,
  • Claudia Costa Bonecker, Universidade Estadual de Maringa

Non-native species are considered a major global threat to biodiversity, and their expansion to new ecosystems has recently increased. However, the effect of non-native species on ecosystem functioning is poorly understood, especially in hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems of which long-term studies are scarce. We analyzed the relationship between richness, biomass, and β-diversity of non-native and native fishes during 16 years in five hyperdiverse tropical shallow lakes. We further elucidated how an observed increase in the proportion of richness, biomass, and β-diversity of non-native over native fishes affect crucial multifunctional processes of lakes (decomposition, productivity). We found a general positive relationship between the richness and biomass of non-native and native fishes. However, the slope of this relationship decreased continuously with time, displaying an increase in non-native species richness and a decrease in native species richness over time. We also detected a negative relationship between the β-diversity of non-native and native fishes over time. Moreover, the increase in the non-native:native ratio of species richness, biomass, and β-diversity over time decreased ecosystem multifunctionality. Our results suggest that non-native fishes caused a homogenization of the native fish species over time, resulting in impoverishment of ecosystem multifunctionality; in part because non-native fishes are less productive than native ones. Therefore, focus on long-term effects and use of multiple biodiversity facets (α- and β-diversity) are crucial to make reliable predictions of the effects of non-native fish species on native fishes and ecosystem functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number144524
JournalScience of the total Environment
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

    Research areas

  • Biodiversity, Decomposition, Ecosystem functioning, Exotic species, Productivity, Species invasion

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