Assessing the impacts of the introduced channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus using the comparative functional response approach

Larissa Faria, Mhairi E. Alexander, Jean R.S. Vitule

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In the metric “Relative Impact Potential” (RIP), the functional response (FR) of a non‐native species can be compared with that of a native analogue and combined with the species abundance to predict its environmental impact. Here, using the River Guaraguaçu (Brazil) as a case study, this methodology was implemented to identify the impacts of the non‐native channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque) compared with a native species Rhamdia quelen (Quoy & Gaimard) towards small prey fish. Both species exhibited Type II FRs, but handling times were lower for I. punctatus, resulting in a greater maximum feeding rate in this species. Consequently, an RIP > 1 was found, indicating that I. punctatus represents a superior impact to prey compared with its native analogue. These results demonstrate that I. punctatus is a potential threat to small endangered fish species; therefore, policies to avoid escapes from aquaculture should be created and the abundance of I. punctatus controlled.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-577
Number of pages8
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Issue number6
Early online date5 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019



  • Alien species
  • Aquaculture
  • Fish
  • Fresh water
  • Management
  • Relative Impact Potential

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