The interaction between native fishes and salmonids introduced in Patagonia at the beginning of the 20th Century, developed at the same time as the environmental change. The phenomenon of global warming has led to the formulation of predictions in relation to changes in the distribution of species, in the latitudinal dimension, both at intralacustrine, or small streams levels. The aim of the present work includes three main objectives: a) to compose a general and updated picture of the latitudinal distribution range of native and alien fishes, b) to analyze the historical changes in the relative abundance of Percichthys trucha, Odontesthes sp., and salmonids in lakes and reservoirs, and c) to relate the diversity and relative abundance of native and salmonid fishes to the environmental variables of lakes and reservoirs. We analysed previous records and an ensemble of data about new locations along the northern border of the Patagonian Province. We compared current data about the relative abundance of native fishes and salmonids in lakes and reservoirs, with previous databases (1984–1987). All samplings considered were performed during spring-summer surveys and include relative abundance, as proportions of salmonids, P. trucha, and Odontesthes sp. For the first time, we found changes in fish assemblages from twenty years back up to the present: a significant decline in the relative abundances of salmonids and an increase of P. trucha. We studied the association between the diversity and relative abundance of native and salmonid fishes and the environmental variables of lakes and reservoirs using Canonical Correspondence Analysis. Relative abundance showed mainly geographical cues and the diversity relied largely on morphometric characteristics. Relative abundance and diversity seem to have a common point in the lake area, included into the PAR concept. Native abundance and alien diversity were negatively related with latitude. Greater native diversity was observed in lakes with high PAR compared with salmonids. Historical changes such as southward dispersion, relative abundance changes, and geographical patterns for relative abundance and diversity are basic concepts needed not only in future research but also in management design for Patagonian fish populations.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 4, 2008
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