The community diversity of two Caribbean MPAs invaded by lionfish does not support the biotic resistance hypothesis
Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2018/06/01
Tipo: Artículo científico
Lugar(es) de estudio: Península de Guanahacabibes, Cuba, Xcalak, Q.R., México
Resumen: "Marine protected areas (MPAs) conserve diversity and abundance of fish communities. According to the biotic resistance hypothesis, communities with higher diversity and abundance should resist invasions better. To test this idea, the presence of lionfish in two Caribbean MPAs was studied: Parque Nacional Guanahacabibes (PNG) in Cuba and Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Xcalak (PNAX) in Mexico. Selection of these MPAs was based on both their different levels of success with enforcement and different abundances of native fish, with a more abundant native fish fauna at PNG. Underwater visual censuses were used to evaluate both the native fish structure and composition and at the same time distribution and abundance of lionfish. The abundance of potential predators on lionfish was also measured to determine possible effects of lionfish on both the abundance and the size of its prey and competitors. Lionfish showed higher abundance and larger size in PNG compared to PNAX, even though its probable competitors and predators were also more abundant and larger in PNG. Prey abundance and size decreased after the invasion. No correlation was detected between potential predators and lionfish, which might indicate natural predation is not substantial. In PNAX, lower abundance of prey, potential competitors and predators can also be attributed to historical overfishing, but this did not provide an advantage to lionfish. Lionfish were less abundant and reached smaller sizes in PNAX compared to PNG. This work confirms the effectiveness of lionfish culling at PNAX, but does not support the biotic resistence hypothesis that native fish might have controlled this invasive species."