The invasive amphipod Gammarus tigrinus Sexton, 1939 displaces native gammarid amphipods from sheltered macrophyte habitats of the Gulf of Riga.

Reisalu, Greta, Kotta, Jonne, Herkül, Kristjan and Kotta, Ilmar (2016) The invasive amphipod Gammarus tigrinus Sexton, 1939 displaces native gammarid amphipods from sheltered macrophyte habitats of the Gulf of Riga. Open Access Aquatic Invasions, 11 (1). pp. 45-54. DOI 10.3391/ai.2016.11.1.05.

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Abstract

The North-American amphipod Gammarus tigrinus Sexton, 1939 is a successful invader in European waters due to its high reproductive potential and tolerance to severe environmental conditions and various pollutants. In this study, we followed the invasion and establishment of this exotic species in a species-poor ecosystem of the northern Baltic Sea. Two years after the establishment of G. tigrinus, over half of the sampling sites were occupied exclusively by G. tigrinus, whereas G. tigrinus coexisted with native gammarids in only one tenth of all sites. There was a clear separation of habitat occupancy between native species and G. tigrinus in terms of abiotic environment and macrophytic habitat. G. tigrinus preferred shallow sheltered areas dominated by vascular plants, while native species mainly occurred in more exposed, deeper habitats with phaeophytes and rhodophytes. In its suboptimal habitats, G. tigrinus exhibited moderate abundances, which allowed for the coexistence of native gammarids and the invasive gammarid. Since its establishment, the abundance of G. tigrinus has showed no signs of decline, with abundances exceeding almost fifteen times those of native gammarids at some locations. The results suggest that, irrespective to the competitive superiority of G. tigrinus over the native gammarids, the invasive G. tigrinus does not monopolize the entire coastal area of the northern Baltic Sea but mostly outcompetes native species in its favoured habitats..

Document Type: Article
Keywords: non-native, nonindigenous, temporal trends, microhabitat, spatial distribution, competition, brackish
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3391/ai.2016.11.1.05
ISSN: 1818-5487
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2016 12:31
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 12:31
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/34362

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