Invasive Ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernua) has caused substantial ecological damage in North America, parts of Western Europe, Scandinavian countries, and the United Kingdom. The objectives of this review are to define Ruffe’s native and non-native range, examine life history requirements, explore the life cycle, and differentiate between life stages. We compare data from its native and non-native ranges to determine if there are any differences in habitat, size, age, genotype, or seasonal migration. Literature from both the native and non-native ranges of Ruffe, with some rare, translated literature, is used. In each life stage, Ruffe exhibit plasticity with regard to chemical, physical, biological, and habitat requirements. Adult Ruffe has characteristics that allow them to adapt to a range of environments, including rapid maturation, relatively long life and large size (allowing them to reproduce many times in large batches), batch spawning, genotype and phenotype (having plasticity in their genetic expression), tolerance to a wide range of water quality, broad diet, and multiple dispersal periods. There is, however, variability among these characteristics between the native, non-native North American, and European non-native populations, which presents a challenge to managing populations based on life history characteristics. Monitoring and preventative strategies are important because, based on Ruffe’s variable life history strategies and its recent range expansion, all of the Laurentian Great Lakes and many other water bodies in the UK, Europe, and Norway are vulnerable to Ruffe establishment.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 4, 2016
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