What is the destiny of a threatened fish, Ptychobarbus chungtienensis, now that non-native weatherfishes have been intro

Wan-Sheng JIANG1, Tao QIN1,2, Wei-Ying WANG3, Ya-Peng ZHAO1, Shu-Sen SHU1,2, Wei-Hong SONG4, Xiao-Yong CHEN1,2,*, Jun-Xing YANG1,*
1 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming Yunnan 650223, China
2  Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yezin Nay Pyi Taw 05282, Myanmar
3  POWERCHINA Kunming Engineering Corporation Limited, Kunming Yunnan 650051, China
4  Management Division of Yunnan Bitahai Nature Reserve, Shangri-La Yunnan 674400, China

PubYear : 2016
Volume : 37 (5)
Publication Name : Zoological Research
Page number : 275-280

Biological invasion is a pervasive negative force of global change, especially in its effects on sensitive freshwater ecosystems. Even protected areas are usually not immune. Ptychobarbus chungtienensis is a threatened freshwater fish now almost confined to Bita Lake, in the Shangri-La region of Yunnan province, China. Its existence is threatened by the introduction of non-native weatherfishes (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus and Paramisgurnus dabryanus) by an unusual method known as ‘prayer animal release’. Periodic surveys revealed the ratio of invasive weatherfishes to P. chungtienensis has been increasing since the former species was first recorded from the lake in August, 2009. Ptychobarbus chungtienensis shows low genetic diversity in the relict Lake Bita population. Weatherfishes, however, have highly successful survival strategies. The degree of dietary overlap between the species is alarming and perhaps critical if food is found to be a limiting factor.

Keywords: Biological invasion; Threatened fish; Prayer animal release; Genetic diversity; Dietary