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Entropy 2015, 17(7), 4959-4973; doi:10.3390/e17074959

Broad Niche Overlap between Invasive Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus and Indigenous Congenerics in Southern Africa: Should We be Concerned?

1
South African National Biodiversity Institute, Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, 2 Cussonia Avenue, Brummeria, Private Bag x101, Pretoria, 0184, South Africa
2
Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University, PO Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa
3
DST-NRF Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology (CIB), Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Hatfield, 0028, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nathaniel A. Brunsell
Received: 26 February 2015 / Revised: 7 July 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 14 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy in Hydrology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2868 KB, uploaded 14 July 2015]   |  

Abstract

This study developed niche models for the native ranges of Oreochromis andersonii, O. mortimeri, and O. mossambicus, and assessed how much of their range is climatically suitable for the establishment of O. niloticus, and then reviewed the conservation implications for indigenous congenerics as a result of overlap with O. niloticus based on documented congeneric interactions. The predicted potential geographical range of O. niloticus reveals a broad climatic suitability over most of southern Africa and overlaps with all the endemic congenerics. This is of major conservation concern because six of the eight river systems predicted to be suitable for O. niloticus have already been invaded and now support established populations. Oreochromis niloticus has been implicated in reducing the abundance of indigenous species through competitive exclusion and hybridisation. Despite these well-documented adverse ecological effects, O. niloticus remains one of the most widely cultured and propagated fish species in aquaculture and stock enhancements in the southern Africa sub-region. Aquaculture is perceived as a means of protein security, poverty alleviation, and economic development and, as such, any future decisions on its introduction will be based on the trade-off between socio-economic benefits and potential adverse ecological effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological niche modelling; invasion; indigenous fishes; Nile tilapia; conservation; southern Africa ecological niche modelling; invasion; indigenous fishes; Nile tilapia; conservation; southern Africa
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zengeya, T.A.; Booth, A.J.; Chimimba, C.T. Broad Niche Overlap between Invasive Nile Tilapia Oreochromis niloticus and Indigenous Congenerics in Southern Africa: Should We be Concerned? Entropy 2015, 17, 4959-4973.

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