Invading predatory crustacean Dikerogammarus villosus eliminates bath native and exotic species

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    As the tempo of biological invasions increases, explanations and predictions of their impacts become more crucial. Particularly with regard to biodiversity, we require elucidation of interspecific behavioural interactions among invaders and natives. In freshwaters in The Netherlands, we show that the invasive Ponto-Caspian crustacean amphipod Dikerogammarus villosus is rapidly eliminating Gammarus duebeni, a native European amphipod, and Gammarus tigrinus, until now a spectacularly successful invader from North America. In the laboratory, survival of single (unguarded) female G. duebeni was significantly lower when male D. villosus were free to roam as compared with isolated within microcosms. In addition, survival of paired (guarded) female G. duebeni was significantly lower when male D. villosus as compared with male G. duebeni were present. D. villosus killed and consumed both recently moulted and, unusually, intermoult victims. Survival of G. tigrinus was significantly lower when D. villosus were free to roam as compared with isolated within microcosms and, again, both moulted and intermoult victims were preyed upon. Male D. villosus were significantly more predatory than were females, while female G. tigrinus were significantly more often preyed upon than were males. Predation by D. villosus on both species occurred over a range of water conductivities, an environmental feature previously shown to promote amphipod coexistence. This predatory invader is predicted to reduce further the amphipod diversity in a range of freshwater habitats in Europe and North America.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages7
    Pages (from-to)977-983
    JournalPROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF LONDON SERIES B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
    Journal publication date2000
    Volume267
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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