Invasive species — the biggest threat to fish in the Mediterranean basin

“The continental fish of the Mediterranean basin are one of the most threatened biological groups in the world”, Miguel Clavero, lead author of the study and a researcher from the Landscape Ecology Group of the Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia, tells SINC.

The study, which has been published in the journal Diversity and Distributions, looks at the geographical distribution of the manmade factors (pressures) with a negative impact on biodiversity and their relationship to the degree of threat faced by endemic freshwater fish communities in the Mediterranean basin. The study combined information on the pressures affecting 232 fish species and their distribution range.

“The Iberian Peninsula is one of the areas in which invasive species have the greatest impact on native fish”, explains Clavero. His team has studied the commonest pressures, such as pollution, water extraction, invasive species, reservoirs, agriculture and over-fishing.

By relating the distribution of these pressures with the degree of threat faced by the fish in each area, the researchers have shown that “fish communities are exposed to the greatest threat of extinction when the most significant pressures are the impact of invasive species and over-exploitation of water resources”, the expert says.

Clavero says “these two pressures are the leading causes of biodiversity loss among continental fish in the Mediterranean region”. The results bear out those of other studies on a smaller geographic scale carried out in various parts of the Mediterranean.

“We also have notorious examples in Spain of the negative effects of the over-exploitation of water resources, as is the case in the upper basin of the Guadiana (including the Tablas de Daimiel wetlands)”, the scientist adds.

The biggest analysis of the Mediterranean basin

The research team compiled the information evaluating the conservation status of endemic continental fish species in the Mediterranean basin drawn up by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation.

The scientists calculated the number of fish species affected by each type of pressure in 10×10 km areas in the Mediterranean basin. “This allowed us to describe the geographical variation in the impacts caused by the various pressures, which could then be related to the extinction risk for the fish communities”, explains Clavero.

The team used data on two geographical scales (aside from the 10×10 km areas, they also analysed complete river basins), as well as two complementary indicators on extinction risk, based on the IUCN categories of threat.

References:

Clavero, Miguel; Hermoso, Virgilio; Levin, Noam; Kark, Salit. “Geographical linkages between threats and imperilment in freshwater fish in the Mediterranean Basin” Diversity and Distributions 16(5): 744-754, septiembre de 2010. DOI:10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00680.x

Media Contact

SINC EurekAlert!

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.plataformasinc.es

Alle Nachrichten aus der Kategorie: Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

This complex theme deals primarily with interactions between organisms and the environmental factors that impact them, but to a greater extent between individual inanimate environmental factors.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles on topics such as climate protection, landscape conservation, ecological systems, wildlife and nature parks and ecosystem efficiency and balance.

Zurück zur Startseite

Kommentare (0)

Schreib Kommentar

Neueste Beiträge

Scientists achieve higher precision weak force measurement between protons, neutrons

Through a one-of-a-kind experiment at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, nuclear physicists have precisely measured the weak interaction between protons and neutrons. The result quantifies the weak…

High-performance single-atom catalysts for high-temperature fuel cells

Individual Pt atoms participate in catalytic reaction to faciitate the electrode process by up to 10 times. Single-atom Pt catalysts are stable at 700 degrees Celsius and expected to stimulate…

New method allows precise gene control by light

A novel optical switch makes it possible to precisely control the lifespan of genetic “copies”. These are used by the cell as building instructions for the production of proteins. The…

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close