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Data from: Invasion strategies in round goby (Neogobius melanostomus): is bigger really better?

Cite this dataset

Brandner, Joerg; Cerwenka, Alexander F.; Schliewen, Ulrich K.; Geist, Juergen (2018). Data from: Invasion strategies in round goby (Neogobius melanostomus): is bigger really better? [Dataset]. Dryad.


Few studies have systematically investigated mid- or long-term temporal changes of biological characteristics in invasive alien species considering the different phases of an invasion. We studied the invasion performance of one of the most invasive species worldwide, the round goby Neogobius melanostomus, from total absence over first occurrence until establishment from 2010 to 2015 in the upper Danube River. After an upstream movement of the invasion front of about 30 river km within four years, the pattern that round goby pioneering populations significantly differ from longer established ones has been confirmed: Pioneering populations at the invasion front comprised more females than males, and adult specimens with a larger body size compared to those at longer inhabited areas. On the population-level, the proportion of juveniles increased with time since invasion. The results of this study provide support for the previously postulated ´bigger is better´ and ´individual trait utility´ hypotheses explaining invasion success in round goby. Pioneering invaders with their greater exploratory behavior, highly adaptive phenotypic plasticity and increased competitive ability seem to act as prime emperors of new habitats, strongly following and benefiting from man-made river-bank structures.

Usage notes


Danube River
upper Danube River