• invasion;
  • population ecology;
  • maturity;
  • multiple spawning;
  • roach;
  • gudgeon


  • 1.
    The topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva is a small Asian cyprinid species that has proved invasive throughout many European countries. Following an initial introduction into the wild in 1996, the species is now proving invasive in the UK, with at least 25 infested waters in England and Wales, of which 10 are known to have direct connection to a major river catchment.
  • 2.
    To demonstrate the threat of P. parva to fisheries in the UK, a case study is presented on a lake located in the Lake District of England where the species was introduced in 2000. The species rapidly established a breeding population that, by 2003, was the dominant species in size classes <70 mm. In 2004, they were the only species in the lake that produced young-of-the-year.
  • 3.
    Individual P. parva adopted the reproductive tactics of early maturity, multiple spawning, male dominance and male nest guarding; sexual dimorphism was manifested in larger body size of males. These traits were in contrast to the resident, native species of the lake, including roach Rutilus rutilus and gudgeon Gobio gobio, which adopted traits of later maturity and single spawning.
  • 4.
    This case study, therefore, revealed relatively rapid establishment of a P. parva population, their subsequent numerical dominance of the fish community, and the impediment of the recruitment of native fish. The implications for UK fisheries are concerning: should P. parva continue to disperse and individuals adopt similar traits as those in this case study, there may be few waters immune from their invasion, numerical dominance and subsequent impacts.

Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.