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The tropical South American cichlid, Geophagus brasiliensis in Mediterranean climatic south-western Australia

Beatty, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0003-2620-2826, Morgan, D.L., Keleher, J., Allen, M.G. and Sarre, G.A. (2013) The tropical South American cichlid, Geophagus brasiliensis in Mediterranean climatic south-western Australia. Aquatic Invasions, 8 (1). pp. 21-36.

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The highly endemic (82%) freshwater fishes of south-western Australia are imperiled due to severe habitat and water quality declines and impacts of introduced species. As a case study of the recent tropical aquarium fish introductions, the biology and ecology of the pearl cichlid Geophagus brasiliensis was determined in the Swan River catchment south-western Australia. Unlike endemic freshwater fish species of this Mediterranean climatic region, Geophagus brasiliensis underwent a protracted spawning period during the warmer period from December to May. It appeared that recruitment only occurred in lentic habitats; however the species also persists in downstream lotic habitats. Growth rate and maximum size (245 mm TL) of the species exceed all but one of the region's native freshwater fishes. Whilst minimum water temperature may help limit its establishment in many aquatic ecosystems, its salinity tolerance and omnivorous diet would facilitate its colonisation in this region, including freshwaters and estuaries. Past and future habitat and climatic change is predicted to continue to favour species from sub-tropical and tropical regions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Freshwater Fish Group & Fish Health Unit
Publisher: Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre
Copyright: © 2013 The Author(s).
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