Biological Invasions

, Volume 8, Issue 8, pp 1673–1680 | Cite as

How bad are invaders in coastal waters? The case of the American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata in western Europe

  • David W. Thieltges
  • Matthias Strasser
  • Karsten Reise
Perpectives and Paradigms

Abstract

Introduced species are assumed to exert a variety of negative ecological effects in their new environments. However, rigid studies on such effects are still rare. Using a case study we exemplify pitfalls and obstacles for research on ecological effects of invaders and highlight the need for a concise framework. The suspension feeding gastropod Crepidula fornicata was accidentally introduced with American oysters to Europe and was soon after defamed as an ‘oyster pest’ although no evidence was provided in justification. Recently, small-scale experiments with C. fornicata and the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas failed to prove competition. As an epizootic, however, C. fornicata is impeding native mussels Mytilus edulis but at the same time provides protection against starfish predation. It also may serve as a sink for infectious trematode parasites and hence be beneficial for bivalve basibionts. Another positive effect of C. fornicata, especially at the coast of France where it is superabundant, may be that it causes a shift of phytoplankton blooms from toxic flagellates to diatoms. The multiple interactions with recipient coastal ecosystems result in a complex interplay of negative as well as positive effects of the invader on native biota. Positive effects of invaders might occur with the same frequency as negative ones, and the general prejudice that introduced species exert per se a negative effect may dictate the outcome of research. We argue that considering both, negative as well as positive effects of an introduced species is needed to eventually enable us to evaluate the overall effect of an invasion on recipient ecosystems. Besides pointing to the importance of positive effects, this case study also shows that research on effects of introduced species should (1) be species specific, (2) consider different spatial scales, (3) clarify which stage of an invasive process is under observation and (4) clearly distinguish between ecological effects, human-relevant impacts and the ethical judgment of both. A concise framework for research on ecological effects of introduced species – which still has to be developed – should incorporate these aspects.

Keywords

case study ecological effect human-relevant impact introduced species positive effects 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ankel, WE 1935Die Pantoffelschnecke, ein Schädling der AusterNatur und Volk65173176Google Scholar
  2. Beukema, JJ 1992Expected changes in the Wadden Sea benthos in a warmer world: lessons from periods with mild wintersNetherlands Journal of Sea Research307379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birnbacher, D 1988

    Sind wir für die Natur verantwortlich

    Birnbacher, D eds. Ökologie und EthikReclamDitzingen103139
    Google Scholar
  4. Blanchard, M 1997Spread of the slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata (L. 1758) in Europe. Current state and consequencesScientia marina61109118Google Scholar
  5. Chauvaud, L, Jean, F, Ragueneau, O, Thozeau, G 2000Long-term variation of the Bay of Brest ecosystem: benthic-pelagic coupling revisitedMarine Ecology Progress Series2003548Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, A, Carlton, J 1998Accelerated invasion rate in a highly invaded estuaryScience279555558PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Courchamp, F, Chapuis, J-L, Pascal, M 2003Mammal invaders on islands: impact, control and control impactBiological Review78347383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cowie, R 2001Invertebrate invasions on Pacific Islands and the replacement of unique native faunas: a synthesis of the land and freshwater snailsBiological Invasions3119136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cox, GW 2004Alien Species and EvolutionIsland PressWashingtonGoogle Scholar
  10. Ehrhold, A, Blanchard, M, Auffret, J-P, Garlan, T 1998Conséquences de la prolifération de la crépidule (Crepidula fornicata) sur l’évolution sédimentaire de la baie du Mont-Saint-Michel (Manche, France)Comptes Royale Academie Scientific Paris, Sciences de la Terre et de Planètes/Earth & Planetary Sciences327583588Google Scholar
  11. Eisel, U 2004Naturbilder sind keine Bilder aus der NaturGaia139298Google Scholar
  12. Gomoin, MT, Alexandrov, B, Shardinn, N, Zaitsev, Y 2002

    The Black Sea – a recipient, donor and transit area for alien species

    Leppäkoski, EGollasch, SOlenin, S eds. Invasive Aquatic Species of Europe. Distribution, Impacts and ManagementKluwer Academic PublicationsDordrecht341350
    Google Scholar
  13. Grimm, V, Wissel, C 1997Babel, or the ecological stability discussions: an inventory and analysis of terminology and a guide for avoiding confusionOecologia109323334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Grosholz, E 2002Ecological and evolutionary consequences of coastal invasionsTrends in Ecology and Evolution172227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grosholz, E, Ruiz, G, Dean, C, Shirley, K, Maron, J, Connors, P 2000The impacts of a nonindigenous marine predator in a California bayEcology8112061224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heger, T, Trepl, L 2003Predicting biological invasionsBiological Invasions5313321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Korringa, P 1951Crepidula fornicata as an oyster-pestRapports et procés verbeaux des réunions. Conseil Permanent International pour l’Exploration de la Mers, part II1285559Google Scholar
  18. Lodge, D 1993Biological invasions: lessons for ecologyTrends in Ecology and Evolution8133137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lodge, D, Stein, R, Brown, K, Covich, A, Brönmark, C, Garvey, J, Klosiewski, S 1998Predicting impact of freshwater exotic species on native biodiversity: challenges in spatial scalingAustralian Journal of Ecology235367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marquard, O 1985Über die Unvermeidlichkeit der GeisteswissenschaftenDokumente der Hochschulreform (Bonn)564767Google Scholar
  21. Meincke, J, Quadfasel, D, Berger, WH, Brander, K, Dickson, RR, Haugan, PM, Latif, M, Marotzke, J, Marshall, J, Minster, JF, Pätzold, J, Parilla, G, Ruijter, W, Schott, F. 2003

    Variability of the thermohaline circulation, THC

    Wefer, GLamy, Mantoura, F eds. Marine Science Frontiers for EuropeSpringer-VerlagBerlin3960
    Google Scholar
  22. Meyer-Abich, KM 2000Hat die Natur einen Eigenwert?Gaia9248256Google Scholar
  23. Montaudouin, X, Sauriau, PG 1999The proliferating gastropod Crepidula fornicata may stimulate macrozoobenthic diversityJournal of the Marine Biological Association UK7910691077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Montaudouin, X, Audemard, C, Labourg, P-J 1999Does the slipper limpet (Crepidula fornicata, L.) impair oyster growth and zoobenthos biodiversity? A revisited hypothesisJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology135105124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Montaudouin, X, Labarraque, D, Giraud, K, Bachelet, G 2001Why does the introduced gastropod Crepidula fornicata fail to invade Arcachon Bay (France)?Journal of the Marine Biological Association UK8197104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Moore, GE 1970Principia EthicaReclamStuttgartGoogle Scholar
  27. Olden, J, Poff, N, Douglas, M, Douglas, M, Fausch, K 2004Ecological and evolutionary consequences of biotic homogenizationTrends in Ecology and Evolution191824PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Orton, JH 1927Is the American slipper-limpet an oyster pest?Nautilus40102103Google Scholar
  29. Parker, IM, Simberloff, D, Lonsdale, WM, Goodell, K, Wonham, M, Kareiva, PM, Williamson, MH, Holle, B, Moyle, PB, Byers, JE, Goldwasser, L 1999Impact: toward a framework for understanding the ecological effects of invadersBiological Invasions1319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pechenik, JA, Fried, B, Simpkins, HL 2001Crepidula fornicata is not a first intermediate host for trematodes: who is?Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology261211224PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Prinz K (2005) Parasiten zwischen den Wirten: Ökologie digener Trematoden im Wattenmeer. Diplom Thesis, University of Marburg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  32. Raguenau JF, Chauvaud L, Leynaert A, Thouzeau G, Paulet Y-M, Bonnet S, Lorrain A, Grall J, Corvaiser R, Le Hir M, Jean F and Clavier J (2002) Direct evidence of a biologically active coastal silicate pump: Ecological implications. Limnology and Oceanography 47: 1849–1854Google Scholar
  33. Riera, P, Stal, L, Nieuwenhuize, J 2002δ13C versus δ13N of co-occuring molluscs within a community dominated by Crassostrea gigas and Crepidula fornicata (Oosterschelde, The Netherlands)Marine Ecology Progress Series240291295Google Scholar
  34. Ruiz, GM, Fofonoff, P, Hines, AH, Grosholz, ED 1999Non-indigenous species as stressors in estuarine and marine communities: assessing invasion impacts and interactionsLimnology and Oceanography44950972CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Simberloff, D 2003Confronting introduced species: a form of xenophobiaBiological Invasions5179192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Thieltges, DW 2005aImpact of an invader: epizootic American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata reduces survival and growth in European musselsMarine Ecology Progress Series2861319Google Scholar
  37. Thieltges, DW 2005bBenefit from an invader: American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata reduces star fish predation on basibiont European musselsHydrobiologia541241244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Thieltges, DW, Strasser, M, Reise, K 2003The American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata (L.) in the northern Wadden Sea 70 years after its introductionHegoland Marine Research572733Google Scholar
  39. Thieltges, DW, Strasser, M, Beusekom, J, Reise, K 2004Too cold to prosper – winter mortality prevents population increase of the introduced American slipper limpet Crepidula fornicata in northern EuropeJournal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology311375391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Torchin, M, Lafferty, K, Dobson, A, McKenzie, V, Kuris, A 2003Introduced species and their missing parasitesNature421628630PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Werner, B 1948Die amerikanische Pantoffelschnecke Crepidula fornicata L. im nordfriesischen WattenmeerZoologisches Jahrbuch77449488Google Scholar
  42. Williamson, M 1996Biological InvasionsChapman & HallLondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • David W. Thieltges
    • 1
  • Matthias Strasser
    • 1
  • Karsten Reise
    • 1
  1. 1.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchWadden Sea Station SyltListGermany

Personalised recommendations