Date of Award
Master of Science - Biology
Dr. Carmen Montana
The introduction of invasive species is one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Once established, invasive species often cause irreversible ecological damage on native communities. Here, I investigated the pathway of introduction and ecological impacts of the sheepshead minnow (C. variegatus) and the gulf killifish (F. grandis). Both species were thought to have been introduced into inland Texas waters via bait-bucket releases and have caused native populations of their inland congeners to decline. While I did not find evidence that either species were being sold in inland shops, bait industry experts did reveal other potentially harmful species, which are permitted for sale, being distributed throughout the state. Investigation of each species ecological niches also revealed overlap is aspects of invasive species’ feeding ecology with their native congeners in the Brazos and Red River basins. This overlap indicates possible negative interactions that could lead to declines in native fish populations
Shepta, Erin, "Assessing the Live Bait Industry and the Ecological Status of Invasive Cyprinodontiformes (Sheepshead minnow: Cyprinodon variegatus and Gulf killifish: Fundulus grandis) in Texas Streams" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 446.
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Available for download on Tuesday, May 02, 2023
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