Journal article

Population dynamics of invading freshwater fish: common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

David M Forsyth, John D Koehn, Darryl I MacKenzie, Ivor G Stuart

Biological Invasions | SPRINGER | Published : 2013


There is much interest in managing invasive freshwater fish, but little is known about the dynamics of these populations following establishment. We used annual commercial catch-per-unit-effort data at multiple spatio-temporal scales to test hypotheses about the population dynamics of invading common carp (Cyprinus carpio) in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. We hypothesised that following establishment of the Boolara strain of this species in the Murray-Darling Basin in 1961/1962: (1) carp would undergo exponential or logistic-type population growth; and (2) carp population growth rates would be highest following over-bank flood events that provided extensive off-channel spawning and fee..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded by Australian Research Council Linkage Project LP0667891. We thank Simon Nicol (Secretariat of the Pacific Community) for initial discussions and encouragement, and Samantha Dawes (New South Wales Department of Primary Industries) for providing the commercial catch and effort data. Mark Burrell (New South Wales Department of Water and Energy) kindly provided the river flow data, and Paula Baker (Victorian Department of Primary Industries), Malcom Knight (South Australian Research and Development Institute) and Jonathon McPhail (Department of Primary Industries and Resources of South Australia) answered our many queries about data. Lauren Dodd and Ruth Lennie (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research) assisted with data entry. Peter Caley (Bureau of Rural Sciences) advised on the logistic-type population models and Reuben Armstrong drew Fig. 3. We are also grateful to Keith Bell (K&C Fisheries) and Bruce McBeath (Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment) for sharing their knowledge of the commercial carp industry. Comments by Peter Caley, Lindy Lumsden, Cang Hui and two anonymous reviewers greatly improved this paper.