TitleInvasive Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans reduce recruitment of Atlantic coral-reef fishes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsAlbins, MA, Hixon, MA
JournalMarine Ecology Progress Series
Volume367
Pagination233-238
Type of ArticleJournal Article
ISSN0171-8630
Abstract

The Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans, introduced to Florida waters in the early 1990s, is currently spreading rapidly throughout the Caribbean region. This invasive carnivore may cause deleterious changes in coral-reef ecosystems via predation on native fishes and invertebrates as well as competition with native predators. We conducted a controlled field experiment using a matrix of translocated coral and artificial patch reefs to examine the short-term effects of lionfish on the recruitment of native reef fishes in the Bahamas. Lionfish caused significant reductions in the recruitment of native fishes by an average of 79% over the 5 wk duration of the experiment. This strong effect on a key life stage of coral-reef fishes suggests that invasive lionfish are already having substantial negative impacts on Atlantic coral reefs. While complete eradication of lionfish in the Atlantic is likely impossible, it would be prudent to initiate focused lionfish control efforts in strategic locations.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000260017900021
DOI10.3354/meps07620