Studies identifying interactions between biological invasions and other stressors have generally focussed on quantifying their cumulative effects on mature species assemblages. In benthic systems, however, early life history processes are key determinants of assemblage structure and functioning. This study tested whether the presence of an invasive species affected early life history processes of two common barnacle species and whether this was affected by a second common stressor, nutrient enrichment. The results of a field experiment identified and characterised the effects of an invasive oyster, Crassostrea gigas, on the early life history processes of the two barnacle species under ambient and enriched nutrient conditions. In the presence C. gigas, the invasive barnacle Austrominius modestus, had a lower recruitment rate, however, there was no effect of the presence of C. gigas on native barnacle, Semibalanus balanoides, recruitment. Nutrient enrichment also reduced the recruitment rate of A. modestus, however, there was no evidence of synergistic or antagonistic interactions between these stressors, indicating their cumulative effects were additive. There was no effect of nutrient enrichment on native barnacle recruitment. Our results show that the presence of an invasive oyster and nutrient enrichment altered the recruitment of another non-native benthic species. These findings emphasise the importance of considering early life history processes when assessing effects of multiple stressors on communities.
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology|
|Early online date||03 Nov 2016|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2017|