Invasive species and environmental change often occur simultaneously across a habitat and therefore our understanding of their relative roles in the decline of native species is often poor. Here, the environmental mediation of a critical interspecific interaction, intraguild predation (IGP), was examined between invasive (Gammarus pulex) and native (G. d. celticus) freshwater amphipods. In the laboratory, IGP asymmetries (males preying on congeneric females) were examined in river water sourced from zones where: (1) the invader has completely displaced the native; (2) the two species currently co-exist, and (3) the native currently persists uninvaded. The invader was always a more effective IG predator, but this asymmetry was significantly weaker moving from 'invader-only water' through 'co-existence water' to 'native-only water'. The constituent of the water that drives this mediation of IGP was not identified. However, balancing the rigour of laboratory experiments with field derived 'environment' has advanced understanding of known patterns in a native species decline, and its co-existence and persistence in the face of an invader.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics