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Assessing vulnerability of New Zealand lakes to loss of conservation value from invasive fish impacts

Abstract
1. Predictions of invasion risk for seven non-indigenous fish species, ecological impact scores for individual species, and lake conservation rankings were linked to develop Invasion Risk Impact (IRI) and Lake Vulnerability (LV) indices that help identify New Zealand lakes most at risk of loss of conservation value from potential multi-species invasions. 2. Species-specific IRI scores (the product of predicted invasion risk and species impact) highlighted Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and the brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus), as the species most likely to spread and cause ecological harm in lakes. For 3431 lakes >1 ha throughout New Zealand, total IRI tended to be highest for lowland riverine and dune lakes most of which are already colonized by multiple invasive fish species. 3. The LV index indicated that lakes most at risk of loss of conservation value from invasive fish impacts were predominantly (i) in the northern half of the North Island where several uncommon lake types occur, and (ii) along the west coast of the South Island where conservation value is often greater, largely because of low catchment modification. 4. The IRI and LV indices can be used to assist with setting priorities for surveillance monitoring, advocacy, and response planning targeted at preventing the establishment of invasive fish in moderate-to-high value lakes most susceptible to ecological impacts. Both indices can be adapted to accommodate alternative impact and conservation scoring systems, providing a flexible tool for local- and national-scale assessments of lake vulnerability to fish invasion impacts.
Type
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Series
Citation
Collier, K. J., Leathwick, J. R., & Rowe, D. K. (2016). Assessing vulnerability of New Zealand lakes to loss of conservation value from invasive fish impacts. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. http://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.2705
Date
2016
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Degree
Supervisors
Rights
This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in the journal: Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.