séminaire du PEV – vendredi 20 février 2015

The predatory ecology of invasive lionfish

Oona Lönnstedt, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Department of Ecology and Genetics

vendredi 20 février 2015 à 11 heures, amphi Monge



Invasive species cause catastrophic alterations to communities worldwide by changing the trophic balance within ecosystems. Ever since their introduction in the mid 1980’s, common red lionfish, Pterois volitans, are having dramatic impacts on the Caribbean ecosystem by displacing native species and disrupting food webs. Introduced lionfish capture prey at extraordinary rates, altering the composition of benthic communities. There are several reasons for their success as invasive species including predator release, naïveté of native prey, different feeding techniques, and highly complex group behaviors including lionfish success as cooperative hunters. I will highlight how different species of lionfish affect prey populations through their complex predatory ecology. Furthermore, I will demonstrate that the extraordinary success of the introduced lionfish partly lies in its capacity to circumvent prey risk assessment abilities, and discuss potential mechanisms. The predatory ecology of lionfish has enabled it to be destructive as a predator and a highly successful invasive species.