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Ecological impact of crustacean invaders: general considerations and examples from the Rhine River
van der Velde, G.; Rajagopal, S.; Kelleher, B.; Muskó, I.; Bij de Vaate, A. (2000). Ecological impact of crustacean invaders: general considerations and examples from the Rhine River, in: von Pauwel Klein, J.C. et al. (Ed.) (2000). The biodiversity crisis and Crustacea: Proceedings of the 4th International Crustacean Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 20-24 July, 1998, volume 2. Crustacean Issues, 12: pp. 3-33
In: von Pauwel Klein, J.C.; Schram, F.R. (Ed.) (2000). The biodiversity crisis and Crustacea: Proceedings of the 4th International Crustacean Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 20-24 July, 1998, volume 2. Crustacean Issues, 12. A.A. Balkema: Rotterdam. ISBN 90-041-1387-8. 1021 pp., more
In: Schram, F.R. (Ed.) Crustacean Issues. Balkema/CRC Press/Taylor & Francis: Rotterdam. ISSN 0168-6356, more

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Document type: Conference paper

Keywords
    Brackish water; Fresh water

Authors  Top 
  • van der Velde, G., more
  • Rajagopal, S., more
  • Kelleher, B.
  • Muskó, I.
  • Bij de Vaate, A., more

Abstract
    The paper reviews the impact of and success factors for crustacean invaders in aquatic systems. As an example, recent invasions of crustaceans in the Rhine River are considered in more detail. In this river, 19 crustacean invaders have been recorded since 1800, with the rate of invasion increasing in recent years. Two species (rule of ten) appear to be most successful: the amphipods Gammarus tigrinus and Corophium curvispinum. Their success is not due to one factor but to a combination of behavioural, physiological and environmental factors. The outcome of interspecies competition may also be the result of this combination of factors. G. tigrinus has been found to be very resistant to invasions by other gammarids, but Dikerogammarus villosus may be able to compete with it successfully under present day conditions. When in very high densities, C. curvispinum is able to change its habitat conditions, which appears to depend on water flow, chlorophyll-a concentrations and water quality. At these high densities, it accumulates so much mud on the stones that the macroinvertebrate community changes to a mud community with a reduced range of species compared to the previous situation. Dreissena polymorpha is outcompeted under such circumstances, a case of spatial competition by 'swamping'. Both successful amphipods exert extensive influence on the food chain, not only horizontally (competition, swamping), but also vertically, with predators switching diets at each successful invasion.

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