Freshwater Fish Invasions: A Comprehensive Review

Freshwater Fish Invasions: A Comprehensive Review

Bernery, C., Bellard, C., Courchamp, F., Brosse, S., Gozlan, R. E., Jarić, I., Teletchea, F., Leroy, B. (2022). Freshwater fish invasions: A comprehensive reviewAnnual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, 53.

Freshwater fish have been widely introduced worldwide, and freshwater ecosystems are among those most affected by biological invasions. Consequently, freshwater fish invasions are one of the most documented invasions among animal taxa, with much information available about invasive species, their characteristics, invaded regions, invasion pathways, impacts, and management. While existing reviews address specific aspects of freshwater fish invasions, there is still a gaping lack of comprehensive assessments of freshwater fish invasions that simultaneously address pivotal and connected elements of the invasion process. Here, we provide a holistic review, together with quantitative assessments, divided into four major parts: (a) introduction pathways, (b) characteristics of nonnative species and invaded ecosystems that explain successful invasion processes, (c) invasion impacts and their mechanisms, and (d) management. We highlight data gaps and biases in the current databases and highlight a basic lack of understanding of several aspects of freshwater fish invasions. In addition, we provide recommendations for future studies.

Contact: Camille Bernery,

Figure legend:

Percentage of basins in which introduced nonnative freshwater fish species have established at the bioregional (blue gradient) and global (black) scales. Only the ten species with the highest percentage of invaded basins are represented for each bioregion; the most common species for each bioregion is illustrated. Solid bars indicate introductions of species not native to the biogeographical region, whereas open bars indicate introductions of species within their native biogeographical region (i.e., a species can be native to part of a region but introduced elsewhere in that region). We used data from Tedesco et al. (2017), which were filtered to include only species for which freshwater is recorded as one of their habitats in FishBase (Froese & Pauly 2022). We used the freshwater fish biogeographical regions defined by Leroy et al. (2019). Photo in panels a–e reproduced from BlueBreezeWiki/Wikimedia ( wikipedia/commons/5/5f/190729_Guppy_01.jpg) (CC-BY SA 3.0). Photo in panel b reproduced from George Chernilevsky/ Wikimedia ( (CC-BY SA 3.0). Photo in panel f reproduced from MarshBunny/Wikimedia ( d/d3/EasternMosquitoFishJG_Female.jpg) (CC-BY SA 4.0).

Camille BERNERY's picture
PhD student
Published on 11 Sep 2022
Updated on 11 Oct 2022