Heat and hypoxia give a global invader, Gambusia holbrooki, the edge over a threatened endemic fish on Australian floodplains

Stoffels, Rick J., Weatherman, Kyle E., and Allen-Ankins, Slade (2017) Heat and hypoxia give a global invader, Gambusia holbrooki, the edge over a threatened endemic fish on Australian floodplains. Biological Invasions, 19 (8). pp. 2477-2489.

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Deciphering the mechanisms by which climate change interacts with invasive species to affect biodiversity is a major challenge of global change biology. We conducted experiments to determine whether the global invader, Gambusia holbrooki, was more resistant to high water temperature (heat) and low dissolved oxygen (hypoxia) than a threatened native fish, Nannoperca australis. Metabolic experiments conducted at 25 and 29 °C showed that G. holbrooki had at least four times the capacity for metabolic depression during hypoxia than N. australis. An increase in environmental temperature from 25 to 29 °C had no significant impact on the critical oxygen tension, Pcrit, of G. holbrooki, but significantly and strongly increased Pcrit of N. australis. Gambusia holbrooki also had a lower Q10 of standard metabolic rate than N. australis. Our results indicate that G. holbrooki have physiological traits conferring greater resistance to hypoxia than N. australis, and as temperature increases, the resistance of N. australis to hypoxia was more eroded than that of G. holbrooki. Intensive monitoring of the temperature and dissolved oxygen dynamics of wetlands showed that contemporary heat waves are already causing conditions that might give G. holbrooki the edge over N. australis on Australian floodplains. Our study adds weight to recent anecdotal reports of drought and heat waves causing localised extinction of N. australis, but the proliferation of G. holbrooki.

Item ID: 75049
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-1464
Keywords: Climate change, Extreme climatic events, Functional traits, Mosquitofish, River regulation, Southern pygmy perch
Copyright Information: © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2022 06:41
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310304 Freshwater ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1803 Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management > 180303 Fresh, ground and surface water biodiversity @ 100%
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