Phenotypic shift of an alien piscivorous chub following translocation from a large lake to small irrigation ditches

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Abstract

The piscivorous chub (Opsariichthys uncirostris) is a Japanese predatory cyprinid with a native distribution restricted to a few large lakes. It has now established in a large region of Japan following accidental translocation. Although large water bodies with abundant food resources were long considered essential for establishing this species, the chub has settled in small irrigation ditches in Kyushu. In this study, we explored the phenotypic responses of the chub in these small water bodies by comparing life history traits and morphology with those of chub inhabiting a native lake. Growth rate, fecundity-related traits, and trunk length shifted markedly following translocation to the new habitat. These phenotypic shifts were typical reactions to characteristic conditions of irrigation ditches, such as habitat instability, lotic conditions, and limited food. Adaptability via a rapid phenotypic shift by the chub may have facilitated establishment of populations in small irrigation ditches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-738
Number of pages8
JournalEcological Research
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016

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irrigation canals
translocation
irrigation
lakes
body water
lake
Japan
food
cyprinid
habitat
habitats
life history trait
fecundity
life history
resource
ditch
water body

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

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abstract = "The piscivorous chub (Opsariichthys uncirostris) is a Japanese predatory cyprinid with a native distribution restricted to a few large lakes. It has now established in a large region of Japan following accidental translocation. Although large water bodies with abundant food resources were long considered essential for establishing this species, the chub has settled in small irrigation ditches in Kyushu. In this study, we explored the phenotypic responses of the chub in these small water bodies by comparing life history traits and morphology with those of chub inhabiting a native lake. Growth rate, fecundity-related traits, and trunk length shifted markedly following translocation to the new habitat. These phenotypic shifts were typical reactions to characteristic conditions of irrigation ditches, such as habitat instability, lotic conditions, and limited food. Adaptability via a rapid phenotypic shift by the chub may have facilitated establishment of populations in small irrigation ditches.",
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