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Competition between the non-native amphipod Caprella mutica and two native species of caprellids Pseudoprotella phasma and Caprella linearis
Shucksmith, R.; Cook, E.J.; Hughes, D.J.; Hughes, M. (2009). Competition between the non-native amphipod Caprella mutica and two native species of caprellids Pseudoprotella phasma and Caprella linearis. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K. 86(6): 1125-1132. dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0025315409000435
In: Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press/Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom: Plymouth. ISSN 0025-3154, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Competition; Endemic species; Introduced species; Refuges; Caprella linearis (Linnaeus, 1767) [WoRMS]; Caprella mutica Schurin, 1935 [WoRMS]; Pseudoprotella phasma Montagu, 1804 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Shucksmith, R.
  • Cook, E.J.
  • Hughes, D.J.
  • Hughes, M., more

Abstract
    Competition plays an important role in invasion dynamics. According to Elton's biodiversity and invasibility hypothesis, non-native species must be competitively superior to the resident species in order to successfully invade. An invader that is ecologically similar to a native species may cause intense interspecific competition as they both require the same resource. Furthermore, an increase in the density of an invading competitor may enhance the intensity of the competitive interaction, however, this may be reduced if the inferior competitor has a refuge that reduces the amount of time it is in direct contact with the superior competitor. In laboratory-based competition experiments between the non-native caprellid Caprella mutica and two ecologically similar native caprellids Caprella linearis and Pseudoprotella phasma, C. mutica successfully displaced both species from homogeneous artificial habitat patches after 48 hours. Patches that contained a refuge reduced the number of C. linearis being displaced but only when C. mutica was at a low density. Potentially aggressive interactions between C. mutica and the native C. linearis may have caused C. linearis to be displaced from the patches and could have caused significantly higher mortality of C. linearis compared to the controls. This is the first study to show that the non-native C. mutica has the ability to displace ecologically similar native species when the resource space is limited and when the density of C. mutica was significantly (10 times) lower than the density of C. linearis.

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