Trophic preferences of three allochthonous fishes in Bormida River (Alessandria, NW Italy)

Tiziano Bo, Massimo Cammarata, Alessandro Candiotto, Stefano Fenoglio


The introduction of alien species is currently one of the greatest threats to biodiversity conservation. This is particularly true in river systems, where in recent years the growth of allochtonous or non-native species has increased dramatically. Numerous studies have investigated the presence and the distribution of invasive species, but few focused on the trophic habits of fish species introduced into new lotic environments. This paper provides information on the diet of three alien species in the Bormida River, a lotic system previously altered by chemical pollution. Barbus barbus shows a wide trophic spectrum, feeding mostly on benthic invertebrates but also consuming terrestrial arthropods, coarse particulate organic matter, filamentous algae and, more rarely, fish. Feeding activity of Pseudorasbora parva was mostly based on aquatic invertebrates but also algae and fine particulate organic matter was frequently ingested. Regarding diet analysis of Rhodeus amarus, fine detritus and algae were the most important components in the examined guts. There are significant potential overlaps with the trophic spectrum of native species.

Palabras clave

Exotic species; freshwater fish; NW Italy; trophic preferences.

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