Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220

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Published online February 16, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5141/jee.22.008

Journal of Ecology and Environment (2022) 46:05

© The Ecological Society of Korea.

Potential risky exotic fish species, their ecological impacts and potential reasons for invasion in Korean aquatic ecosystems

Usman Atique and Kwang-Guk An*

Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 34134, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to:Kwang-Guk An
E-mail kgan@cnu.ac.kr

Received: October 4, 2021; Revised: January 16, 2022; Accepted: February 16, 2022

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Abstract

Background: Due to the rapidly changing climatic conditions, South Korea faces the grand challenge of exotic species. With the increasing human movement, the influx of alien species to novel regions is prevalent across the globe. The latest research suggests that it is easy to prevent the introduction and establishment of alien species rather than controlling their spread and eradication. Like other countries, the Korean Ministry of Environment released a list (in 2018) of 45 potential risky exotic fish species considered likely to be invasive candidate fish species if they ever succeed in entering the Korean aquatic ecosystems.
Results: The investigation into the invasion suitability traits showed that potential risky fish species could utilize those features in becoming invasive once they arrive in the Korean aquatic ecosystems. If the novel species establish viable populations, they are likely to incur higher economic costs, damage the native aquatic fauna and flora, and jeopardize the already perilled species. Furthermore, they can damage the installed infrastructure, decline overall abundance and biodiversity, and disturb the ecosystem services. Here we reviewed the list of fish species concerning their family, native origin, preferred aquatic biomes, main food items, current status in Korea, and potential threats to humans and the ecosystems. Data shows that most species are either already designated as invasive in the neighboring counties, including Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and China, or originate from these countries. Such species have a higher climate match with the Korean territories.
Conclusions: Therefore, it is exceptionally essential to study their most critical features and take regulatory measures to restrict their entry. The incoming fish species must be screened before letting them in the country in the future. The regulatory authorities must highlight the threatening traits of such species and strictly monitor their entrance. Detailed research is required to explore the other species, especially targeting the neighboring countries fish biodiversity, having demonstrated invasive features and matching the Korean climate.

Keywords: Korea, exotic species, risky fish, fish control, spread, ecological impacts

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Journal of Ecology and Environment

pISSN 2287-8327 eISSN 2288-1220