Movers and shakers: exploring the complex dynamics of aquatic biological invasions

MacDonald, Kelly J. (2022) Movers and shakers: exploring the complex dynamics of aquatic biological invasions. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Human-mediated introductions of non-native species have provoked innumerable biological invasions, which can have a suite of adverse effects on the communities into which they are introduced. Despite extensive research, there remains a need in invasion ecology for simple methods of predicting how an introduced species will spread and become established. While I predicted that spread can be modelled simply using the characteristics of the invading population, establishment should be explained by the characteristics of the receiving ecosystem. Using the brown trout (Salmo trutta) invasion on the Island of Newfoundland as a case study, I fit a reaction-diffusion model to brown trout population data to predict expected spread and test these predictions against extensive occurrence data. I use statistical models to test the influence of a suite of environmental variables on the establishment of brown trout within the invasion range. I find that observed spread in Newfoundland is slow compared to invasions elsewhere and that two landscape environmental variables show evidence of explaining establishment patterns, but their influence is likely moderated by other factors. My study contextualises the mechanisms contributing to slow aquatic invasions, revealing that studies need to integrate a variety of methods to elucidate the processes governing biological invasions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15343
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: biological invasions, aquatic ecology, spread, establishment, brown trout
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: January 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Brown trout--Newfoundland and Labrador; Biological invasions--Newfoundland and Labrador; Aquatic ecology--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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