Intraguild predation (IGP) between invasive and native species can lead to species exclusions or co-existence, dependent on the direction and strength of the interaction. Recently, derivation of 'functional responses' has been identified as a means of comparing the community impacts of invasive and native species. Here, we employ a novel use of this functional response methodology to evaluate any IGP asymmetries between the invasive Ponto-Caspian amphipod Echinogammarus ischnus and the North American native Gammarus fasciatus. The direction and magnitude of intraguild predation of adult males on hetero-specific adult females has previously been shown to reverse across a water conductivity gradient. This partially explains field patterns, but does not predict the co-existence of the two species observed in many habitats and locations. Here, we compared intraguild predation by both species on each other's juveniles in high- and low- conductivity water. G. fasciatus has a higher type II functional response towards E. ischnus juveniles compared to the reciprocal interaction. Conductivity did not influence the predation rate on juveniles of either E. ischnus or G. fasciatus. Thus, the male/female IGP advantage to the native G. fasciatus in low conductivity water is compounded by a juvenile IGP asymmetry, which also counteracts the male/female IGP advantage to E. ischnus in high conductivity waters, helping to explain field patterns of exclusion and co-existence. Thus, complex asymmetries in mutual IGP associated with inherent species differences, environmental modulation, and life-history effects can help us understand and predict the population and community level outcomes of species invasions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics