Foreign species, such as zebra mussels and carp, are invading the Great Lakes and changing the ecology of this vital ecosystem. A study from McMaster University published in the March issue of the Journal of Great Lakes Research suggests that for the round goby, a recently introduced fish species, their ability to wrest territory from native fish plays a key role in their dominance of the Great Lakes.
In the study, McMasters Sigal Balshine, an assistant professor of psychology, and her colleagues report that gobies win territory disputes against native logperch regardless of whether or not they were the original resident of the territory.
"A territory owner, such as the logperch, is likely to fight hard to make sure it keeps its turf, but round gobies are extremely aggressive compared to the naturally occurring relatively peaceful logperch and easily take over contested shelters," explains Balshine.
Sigal Balshine | EurekAlert!
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