Experimental evaluation of the effects of the novel predators, round goby and mud crab on benthic invertebrates in the Gulf of Riga, the Baltic Sea.

Nurske, Kristiina, Kotta, Jonne, Rätsep, Meril, Kotta, Ilma and Kreitsberg, Randell (2018) Experimental evaluation of the effects of the novel predators, round goby and mud crab on benthic invertebrates in the Gulf of Riga, the Baltic Sea. Journal of The Marine Biological Association of The United Kingdom, 98 (Special Issue 1). pp. 25-31.

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Abstract

The number of non-indigenous aquatic species (NIS) has rapidly increased globally. The majority of published evidence on the effects of NIS on local communities is from single species studies in which the interactive effects of NIS are not considered. Here we present experimental evidence of separate and interactive effects of two widespread non-indigenous benthic predators, the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) and the North American mud crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii) on benthic invertebrate communities in a shallow coastal ecosystem of the Gulf of Riga, the Baltic Sea. The two species have recently colonized multiple sub-basins of the Baltic Sea and due to their rapid range expansion, increasing densities and local functional novelty, they are expected to have strong separate or interactive effects on native communities. Our laboratory experiment demonstrated that round goby and mud crab exerted a significant predation pressure on different benthic invertebrate species and the effects of the studied predators were largely independent. Predation was stronger at higher temperature compared with low temperature treatment. Among the studied invertebrate species gammarid amphipods were consumed the most. Interestingly, round goby did not prey on the mud crabs despite a large size difference of the studied predators.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: benthic invertebrates; multiple invasive species; North American mud crab; predation; round goby
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 0025-3154
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2017 12:17
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2019 08:15
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/41090

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