Impacts of non-native rainbow trout on stream food webs in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa integrating evidence from surveys and experiments

Doctoral Thesis


Permanent link to this Item
Journal Title
Link to Journal
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

University of Cape Town

Impacts of invasive predators may be influenced by whether or not native predators which function in the same way as the invasive predator exist in the recipient system. Impacts are expected to be strong in isolated systems lacking functionally similar predators because native species will be naïve to the foraging behaviour of the introduced predator, and because the invasion is likely to change the role which the native predator assemblage performs. In this thesis I studied how the introduction of a functionally novel predatory fish, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, has affected native fish, and how changes in the functioning of the predator assemblage have influenced lower trophic levels, in headwater streams in a catchment area within the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Fish populations, benthic invertebrate assemblages, benthic algae and particulate organic matter were surveyed in each of 24 minimally-disturbed headwater streams in the upper Breede River catchment, and relevant environmental variables in each stream measured, over one summer.

Includes abstract.

Includes bibliographical references.