Predatory interactions between the invasive amphipod Gammarus tigrinus and the native opossum shrimp Mysis relicta

R.J.E. Bailey, J.T.A. Dick, Robert Elwood, C. MacNeil

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The invasive North American amphipod Gammarus tigrinus is successfully established in Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland. Gammarus tigrinus is increasingly recognized as having significant predatory impacts on macroinverebrates, contrary to the accepted functional feeding group status of Gammarus species. The native opossum shrimp Mysis relicta overlaps in habitat use with G. tigrinus. However, its interaction with benthic macroinvertebrates is rarely appreciated. Mutual predatory interactions between G. tigrinus and M. relicta were assessed in a series of laboratory experiments. Gammarus tigrinus actively preyed on adult and juvenile M. relicta at a range of spatial scales. Females and recently molted M. relicta were particularly vulnerable to predation. Mysis relicta did not prey on adult G. tigrinus, but rapidly eliminated juvenile G. tigrinus in microcosms. Changes in dissolved 02 saturation did not alter the predatory interaction between these species. Microhabitat use by M. relicta was altered in the presence of G. tigrinus, and the presence of G. tigrinus facilitated fish predation on M. relicta. A balance of mutual predatory pressure between these invasive and native species may explain their coexistence. Both species are likely to be strongly interactive with other macroinvertebrates in both native and invasive ranges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-405
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the North American Benthological Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology


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