Grouper as a natural biocontrol of invasive lionfish

Mumby, Peter J., Harborne, Alastair R. and Brumbaugh, Daniel R. (2011) Grouper as a natural biocontrol of invasive lionfish. PLoS One, 6 6: e21510-1-e21510-4. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0021510

Author Mumby, Peter J.
Harborne, Alastair R.
Brumbaugh, Daniel R.
Title Grouper as a natural biocontrol of invasive lionfish
Journal name PLoS One   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1932-6203
Publication date 2011-06-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0021510
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 6
Start page e21510-1
End page e21510-4
Total pages 4
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
2700 Medicine
Abstract Lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) have invaded the majority of the Caribbean region within five years. As voracious predators of native fishes with a broad habitat distribution, lionfish are poised to cause an unprecedented disruption to coral reef diversity and function. Controls of lionfish densities within its native range are poorly understood, but they have been recorded in the stomachs of large-bodied Caribbean groupers. Whether grouper predation of lionfish is sufficient to act as a biocontrol of the invasive species is unknown, but pest biocontrol by predatory fishes has been reported in other ecosystems. Groupers were surveyed along a chain of Bahamian reefs, including one of the region’s most successful marine reserves which supports the top one percentile of Caribbean grouper biomass. Lionfish biomass exhibited a 7-fold and nonlinear reduction in relation to the biomass of grouper. While Caribbean grouper appear to be a biocontrol of invasive lionfish, the overexploitation of their populations by fishers, means that their median biomass on Caribbean reefs is an order of magnitude less than in our study. Thus, chronic overfishing will probably prevent natural biocontrol of lionfishes in the Caribbean.
Keyword Coral-reef fishes
Indo-Pacific Lionfish
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID NE/F015704/1
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Article number e21510

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 01 Aug 2011, 19:06:37 EST by Ms Lynette Adams on behalf of School of Biological Sciences