A black spot on our record: invasion history of the nonnative Blackspotted Topminnow (Fundulus olivaceus) in the Spring River Subbasin of Kansas, with a comparison to long-term trends in Blackstripe Topminnow (Fundulus notatus) prevalence


Alexandra King

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Spring 2021


The Blackspotted Topminnow (Fundulus olivaceus) is not native to the Spring River subbasin of Kansas where it was first collected from Shoal Creek in the early 2000`s. Little is known regarding the contemporary prevalence of the Blackspotted Topminnow or how populations of the closely related Blackstripe Topminnow (Fundulus notatus) have varied since Blackspotted Topminnow were introduced into the system. Thus, we sampled 55 sites using backpack electrofishing and seining during 2017-2020 and then compared long-term trends in occupancy and relative abundance of the Blackspotted and Blackstripe Topminnows using three separate datasets (1962-1964, 1993-1995, 1995-2013). Between species comparisons of temporal trends were made for the entire SRS of KS, and for physiographic regions within the SRS. In our contemporary survey, we detected the Blackspotted Topminnow at 11% of sites (6/55), including four Shoal Creek sites and two sites in the Spring River below Empire Lake. Blackstripe Topminnow prevalence was relatively stable above Empire Lake where Blackspotted Topminnow were absent. In contrast, between 1995-2013 and 2017-2020 time periods, Blackstripe Topminnow exhibited a declining trend in prevalence within the Ozark Plateau where it was sympatric with the Blackspotted Topminnow. This decline was only observed below Empire Lake where Blackspotted Topminnow were present, which was likely attributed to negative biotic interactions (e.g. competition; hybridization) with the Blackspotted Topminnow. Regardless, our research shows that Blackspotted Topminnow is now an established nonnative in Kansas and further monitoring is necessary to document the spread and provide a better understanding of the ecological impacts of this introduction.


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