Dominance of Tilapia mossambica, an introduced fish species, in three Puerto Rican estuaries

Joanna Burger, Keith Cooper, Deborah J. Gochfeld, Jorge E. Saliva, Carl Safina, David Lipsky, Michael Gochfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We compared species presence, abundance, and size characteristics of fish in three brackish, coastal marshes at Humacao, Roosevelt Roads, and Boqueron, Puerto Rico, in February and March 1988. The three marsh ecosystems were similar with respect to the presence of large expanses of open water bordered by emergent vegetation, creeks, and mangroves, and all had some recreational use. We sampled fish using gill nets. Tilapia (Oreochromis) mossambica were the most abundant fish, accounting for 55–79% of the samples at all three marshes. Overall, tilapia were both the largest (North Lagoon) and the smallest (Frontera Creek) at Humacao. Tilapia were most common in open lagoons rather than creeks or bays (except for Mandri Creek), and their distribution seemed unrelated to salinity. Tarpon (Megalops atlantica) were more abundant at low salinities, whereas other fish were more abundant at higher salinities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)


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