We used field surveys and transplant experiments to elucidate the relative roles of physico-chemical regime and intraguild predation in determining the generally mutually exclusive distributions of native and invader freshwater amphipod species. Field surveys showed that the native Gammarus duebeni celticus dominates the shoreline of Lough Neagh, N. Ireland, with some co-occurrence with the N. American invader G. tigrinus. However, the latter species dominates the deeper areas of the mid-Lough. Transplant experiments showed no difference in survival of the native and invader in single species 'bioassay tubes' placed along the shoreline. However, there was significantly higher survival of the invader compared with the native in single species tubes placed in the mid-Lough. In mixed species tubes on the shoreline, the native killed and ate the invader, with no reciprocal interaction, leading to significant reductions of the invader. However, the invader had significantly higher survival than the native in mixed species tubes in the mid-Lough, with no evidence. of predation between the two species. These results indicate that, whereas differential intraguild predation may determine domination of the shoreline by the native, differential physico-chemical tolerances may be major determinants of the domination of the mid-Lough by the invader. This study emphasises the need to consider the habitat template in conjunction with biotic interactions before attempting to draw conclusions about mechanisms determining relative distribution patterns of native and invasive species.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aquatic Science