Browsing by Subject "INVASION SUCCESS"

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  • Jakubaviciute, Egle; Candolin, Ulrika (2021)
    The invasion of non-native species into an ecosystem can markedly alter the structure and functioning of the system. Yet, we have limited knowledge of the factors that determine invasion success. Behavioural interactions have been suggested as critical determinants of invasion success in animals, but the exact mechanisms are less well known. We investigated if density-dependent behavioural interactions could have facilitated the invasion of the shrimp Palaemon elegans into the spawning habitat of the threespine stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus in the Baltic Sea. This was done by manipulating the densities of the two species in mesocosms. We found the stickleback to dominate behaviourally over the shrimp through higher aggression, but that the impact on the shrimp was density-dependent; a high density of sticklebacks increased aggressive interactions, which caused the shrimps to decrease their activity and restrict their habitat use to dense vegetation, while a low density of sticklebacks had no impact on the distribution and activity of the shrimps. The density of the shrimps had no impact on stickleback behaviour. These results suggest that the present density of the stickleback has allowed the invasion of the shrimp into the habitat. However, a current increase in stickleback abundance caused by human-induced ecological disturbances could limit the further expansion of the shrimp. Thus, our results indicate that a behavioural mechanism-density-dependent aggression-can influence invasion success and subsequent population expansion. At a broader level, our results stress the importance of considering density-dependent behavioural interactions when investigating the mechanisms behind invasion success.
  • Herlevi, Heidi; Puntila, Riikka; Kuosa, Harri; Fagerholm, Hans-Peter (2017)
    Studies in the Baltic Sea have identified over 30 parasite taxa infecting the invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814). In this study, we aimed at comparing parasite assemblages and infection rates (prevalence and intensity) in different populations across the invasive range in the Baltic Sea (Denmark, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland). Infection rates were 56-60% across all locations except Lithuania (28%). However, the parasite assemblages in the sampled populations were dissimilar, each location having unique parasites. In addition, many of the parasites were generalists commonly infecting native fish species. Based on the results of this study and those previously conducted in the Baltic Sea, the round goby has not retained parasites from its area of origin, but instead has been successively colonized by native generalist parasites. Although variable, overall parasite richness is still quite low around the Baltic compared to the native areas (34 vs 71 taxa, respectively). Also, prevalence and mean infection intensities in the Baltic Sea are significantly lower than in the native areas. Therefore, the invasion success of the round goby in the Baltic Sea can at least partly be attributed to enemy release, in this case shedding a significant proportion of their native parasite load.