Oecologia

, Volume 168, Issue 1, pp 175–186 | Cite as

Invasion by mobile aquatic consumers enhances secondary production and increases top-down control of lower trophic levels

Community Ecology - Original Paper

Abstract

Increased biological diversity due to invasion by non-indigenous species (NIS) is a global phenomenon with potential effects on trophic interactions and ecosystem processes in the invaded habitat. We assessed the effects of resource availability and invasion of three non-indigenous invertebrate grazers (two crustaceans and a snail) on secondary production, relative dominance of NIS grazers and resource depletion in experimental freshwater mesocosms. The relative dominance of NIS grazers increased with increasing initial resource availability, although the effect was largest for one of the three species. The effect was due to the fact that all the included non-indigenous grazers were able to expand their populations quickly in response to resource addition. For the most dominating species, the increased grazer diversity due to invasion in turn resulted in higher production of grazer biomass and a more efficient depletion of the periphyton resource. The effect was largest at high initial resource availability, where NIS dominance was most pronounced. Our results show that an invasion-induced increase in species diversity can increase resource depletion and consequently production, but that the effect depends on identity of the introduced species. The results also suggest that properties of the recipient system, such as resource availability, can modulate ecosystem effects of NIS by affecting invader success and dominance.

Keywords

Grazer Resource depletion Gammarus tigrinus Limnomysis benedeni Physella acuta 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for BotanyUniversity of CologneKölnGermany
  2. 2.AquaBiota Water ResearchStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM)Carl-von-Ossietzky University OldenburgWilhelmshavenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Systems EcologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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