Biodiv Sci ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (6): 672-685.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2015374

Special Issue: 生物入侵

• Original Papers: Plant Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Global distribution, entry routes, mechanisms and consequences of invasive freshwater fish

Shan Li1,2, Jiakuan Chen2, Xiaoming Wang1,*()   

  1. 1 Natural History Research Center, Shanghai Natural History Museum, Branch of Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, Shanghai 200041
    2 Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Ministry of Education, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438
  • Received:2015-12-29 Accepted:2016-05-11 Online:2016-06-20 Published:2016-06-20
  • Contact: Wang Xiaoming


Biological invasion is now considered one of the three major environmental issues worldwide. Freshwater fish invasion becomes more serious with globalization of the world economy. We reviewed the current status of global freshwater fish invasions and discussed the definitions, distributions, introduction pathways, mechanisms, ecological and economic impacts, and risk assessments of freshwater fish invasions. Non-native fish are mainly introduced through food aquaculture (51%), as ornamental fish (21%), or for sport fishing (12%) and fisheries (7%). The number of introduced fish has reached 624 species, doubled the number found thirty years ago. Successful invasions may bring many negative ecological consequences, such as predation, hybridization, structure and function alteration of local freshwater ecosystems, as well as diseases transmission. However, it also brings positive biological and economic values. The number of fish invasion studies has increased eight times over the last 20 years, with studies mainly focusing on biology and the biological impact of invasive fish species. Risk assessments of freshwater fish invasions were studied over the last 10 years, and fish invasiveness screening models have been applied in countries of five continents. The number of non-native freshwater fish in China totaled 439. However, research papers on freshwater fish invasions in China was only 3.7% of the global total, and these researches were mainly on the distribution and biology of invasive fish species, and very few studies included risk assessments. Therefore, we suggest investigating the history, distribution, and mechanisms of invasive species at the national level, evaluating both the positive and negative effects of freshwater fish invasions, and also reinforcing studies of risk assessments in China.

Key words: freshwater fish invasion, food aquaculture, ornamental fish, risk assessment