Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
https://actalb.org/article/doi/10.1590/S2179-975X6423
Acta Limnologica Brasiliensia
Original Article

Assessing the occurrence of alien species on Brazilian freshwater ecosystems: insights from a comprehensive survey

Avaliando a ocorrência de espécies exóticas nos ecossistemas de água doce brasileiros: percepções de uma pesquisa abrangente

Anderson Oliveira Latini; Daniela Chaves Resende; Daniel Paiva Silva; Dilermando Pereira Lima-Junior

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Abstract

Aim: Assessing the damage caused to natural environments and native biodiversity by alien species is challenging. We tested whether the number of detections of alien species is affected by total alien or total invader alien species richness, considering the importance of predicting which species are more probable future invaders.

Methods: We summarized a research information survey conducted on alien amphibians, annelids, aquatic macrophytes, cnidarians, crustaceans, fish, microorganisms, mollusks, nemathelminths, platyhelminths, and reptiles, and for Brazilian watersheds. We used linear regressions between detections and total alien species richness and between detections and invader species richness.

Results: We obtained 1,896 alien detections of 183 aquatic species in Brazil. Fish and mollusk species were the commonest invaders due to their detections being more frequent than expected by chance, considering all the alien species occurring in Brazilian freshwater ecosystems. We also found positive and robust linear relationships between alien species detections and alien species richness.

Conclusions: Our results illustrate how Brazilian freshwater systems are fragile to alien invasions and highlight the need for effective action to address this question. Scientific uncertainty in Brazil regarding the status of some alien species and their potential harm is high, highlighting the need for a cautionary overview of invaders. Despite this scenario, new policies create opportunities for aquatic parks with exotic organisms to spread further in Brazil, which, in actual Brazilian conditions, is likely to increase the pressure on natural ecosystems and native species. This reinforces the already expressed need by the scientific community for greater attention to the issue.

Keywords

biological conservation, exotic species, inland waters, watersheds

Resumo

Objetivo: Inventariar os danos causados aos ambientes naturais ou à biodiversidade nativa por por espécies exóticas é desafiador. Nós testamos se o número de detecções de espécies exóticas é afetado pelo número total de espécies exóticas ou pela riqueza de exóticas invasoras, com o intuito de predizer que grupos de espécies são mais prováveis futuros invasores.

Métodos: Nós apresentamos informações obtidas de um senso nacional conduzido sobre organismos exóticos anelídeos, anfíbios, cnidários, crustáceos, macrófitas aquáticas, microrganismos, moluscos, nematelmintos, peixes, platelmintos e répteis para todas as bacias hidrográficas do país. Utilizamos o número de detecções como variável dependente da riqueza de espécies exóticas, por grupo taxonômico e da riqueza de espécies exóticas invasoras.

Resultados: Nós obtivemos 1.896 detecções de diferentes 183 espécies aquáticas. Peixes e moluscos foram os invasores comuns já que suas detecções são mais frequentes do que o esperado ao acaso, considerando todas as espécies ocorrendo nos ecossistemas de água doce do país. Nós também encontramos relações positivas e robustas entre as detecções por grupo taxonômico e a riqueza em espécies por grupo.

Conclusões: Os resultados ilustram como o ambiente de água doce brasileiro é frágil a invasões biológicas e destacam a necessidade de ações efetivas direcionadas à questão. A incerteza científica a respeito do status de espécies exóticas e seu podencial invasor é grande, o que leva à necessidade de precaução a respeito destas espécies. Apesar do cenário atual, novas políticas abrem opotunidades para que parques aquáticos com organismos exóticos se dispersem mais no Brasil o que deve aumentar ainda mais a pressão sobre ecossistemas naturais e espécies nativas, reforçando a necessidade já manifestada pela comunidade científica, de maior atenção ao tema.

Palavras-chave

conservação da biodiversidade, espécies exóticas, ecossistemas continentais de água doce, bacias hidrográficas

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Submitted date:
07/01/2023

Accepted date:
05/07/2024

Publication date:
07/08/2024

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