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Dispersal of Nonnative Fishes and Parasites in the Intermittent Little Colorado River, Arizona

Dennis M. Stone, David R. Van Haverbeke, David L. Ward and Teresa A. Hunt
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 52, No. 1 (Mar., 2007), pp. 130-137
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20424798
Page Count: 8
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Dispersal of Nonnative Fishes and Parasites in the Intermittent Little Colorado River, Arizona
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Abstract

We sampled nonnative fishes stranded in isolated pools near Grand Falls in the Little Colorado River (LCR), Arizona, after the river ceased flowing (21 June and 12 July 2005) to evaluate whether nonnative fishes can invade the perennial, lower 21 km of the LCR from upriver sources. The encroachment of nonnative fishes could jeopardize resident populations of endangered humpback chub, Gila cypha, and other native fishes in the lower LCR. We captured red shiner, Cyprinella lutrensis; common carp, Cyprinus carpio; fathead minnow, Pimephales promelas; black bullhead, Ameiurus melas; and plains killifish, Fundulus zebrinus, all of which have been captured >132 km downriver in the lower LCR and >127 km upriver in the closest perennial sources. Moreover, we detected Asian tapeworm, Bothriocephalus acheilognathi, in 9 of 30 common carp examined. Our findings suggest that nonnative fishes, including those hosting parasites, can invade the lower LCR from upriver sources >250 km away during freshets and provide a mechanism for the dispersal of invasive aquatic species in intermittent river systems. /// Muestreamos peces no nativos atrapados en cuerpos de agua aislados cerca de Grand Falls en el Little Colorado River (LCR), Arizona, después de que cesó la corriente (21 de junio y 12 de julio 2005) para determinar si peces no nativos son capaces de invadir desde la parte alta del río hasta los 21 km bajos perennes del LCR. La invasión de peces no nativos puede perjudicar poblaciones locales del charalito (Gila cypha), y otros peces nativos en la parte baja del LCR. Capturamos sardinita roja, Cyprinella lutrensis, carpa común (Cyprinus carpio), carpita cabezona (Pimephales promelas), bagre torito negro (Ameiurus melas) y sardinilla de las planicies (Fundulus zebrinus), los cuales han sido capturados >132 km más abajo en la parte baja del LCR y >127 km más arriba en las fuentes de agua perennes más cercanas. Por otra parte, detectamos el cestodo asiático, Bothriocephalus acheilognathi, en 9 de 30 carpas comunes examinadas. Nuestros hallazgos sugieren que peces no nativos, incluyendo aquellos que mantienen parásitos, pueden invadir la parte baja del LCR desde las partes altas >250 km de distancia durante crecimientos de corriente y proporcionan un mecanismo para la dispersión de especies acuáticas invasoras en sistemas intermitentes de ríos.

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