Population expansion of the invasive Pomacentridae Chromis limbata (Valenciennes, 1833) in southern Brazilian coast: long-term monitoring, fundamental niche availability and new records

Antônio B. Anderson, Jodir Pereira da Silva, Raquel Sorvilo, Carlo Leopoldo B. Francini, Sergio R. Floeter, João P. Barreiros

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6 Scopus citations


Human-mediated species invasions are recognized as a leading cause of global biotic homogenization and extinction. Studies on colonization events since early stages, establishment of new populations and range extension are scarce because of their rarity, difficult detection and monitoring. Chromis limbata is a reef-associated and non-migratory marine fish from the family Pomacentridae found in depths ranging between 3 and 45 m. The original distribution of the species encompassed exclusively the eastern Atlantic, including the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands. It is also commonly reported from West Africa between Senegal and Pointe Noire, Congo. In 2008, vagrant individuals of C. limbata were recorded off the east coast of Santa Catarina Island, South Brazil (27° 41′ 44″ S, 48° 27′ 53″ W). This study evaluated the increasing densities of C. limbata populations in Santa Catarina State shoreline. Two recent expansions, northwards to São Paulo State and southwards to Rio Grande do Sul State, are discussed, and a niche model of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) was performed to evaluate suitable C. limbata habitats. Brazilian populations are established and significantly increasing in most sites where the species has been detected. The distributional boundaries predicted by the model are clearly wider than their known range of occurrence, evidencing environmental suitability in both hemispheres from areas where the species still does not occur. Ecological processes such as competition, predation and specially habitat selectivity may regulate their populations and overall distribution range. A long-term monitoring programme and population genetics studies are necessary for a better understanding of this invasion and its consequences to natural communities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-373
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Fish Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 8 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-02-11
Acknowledgements: We thank FAPES (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e Inovação do Espírito Santo, Brazil)/CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil) (PROFIX programme number 10/2018 – T.O.: 348/2018) for A.B.A. postdoctoral scholarship. We also thank the anonymous reviewers and A.R.W. (Red Sea Research Center – King Abdullah University of Science and Technology), who contributed to the improvement of this paper. Thanks to the Marine Macroecology and Biogeography Laboratory (LBMM) staff for field support.

Funding sources: SISBIOTA-Mar (PI: S.R.F., CNPq 563276/2010-0; FAPESC 6308/2011-8), Ilhas do Sul Project (PI: S.R.F., CNPq 475367/2006-5), MAArE Project – Monitoramento Ambiental do Arvoredo e Entorno (PI: B. Segal), CAPES scholarship to A.B.A., Biodiversidade Marinha do Estado de Santa Catarina Project (PI: A.L., FAPESC 4302/2010-8) and ECOPERE-SE Project (Ecologia de Peixes Recifais da Costa Sudeste do Brasil) (PI: J.P. Silva).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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