Assessing the ecological impacts of Eastern Banded Killifish: a native transplant species rapidly expanding its range in Illinois and Indiana
Major Goals and Objectives
In North America, there are two subspecies of Banded Killifish (Fundulus diaphanus): the Eastern Banded Killifish (F. d. diaphanus) and the Western Banded Killifish (F. d. menona). While Banded Killifish are considered secure across their range, some populations of Western Banded Killifish are considered Vulnerable or Threatened and populations of Eastern Banded Killifish are expanding rapidly into new regions. Subtle differences in the ecology between subspecies has been found to have strong effects on community composition and energy pathways in freshwater ecosystems. Potential ecological differences between Eastern and Western Banded Killifish are unstudied, therefore through this graduate student scholars project we seek to investigate the trophic ecology of Banded Killifish populations from Illinois and Indiana. Using stable isotope analysis, we can determine whether there is an ecological difference in trophic position and dietary niche width between the two subspecies, as well as how the invasion of the Eastern subspecies could impact the Western subspecies and freshwater communities or ecosystems more generally.