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Are impacts of an exotic predator on a stream food web influenced by disturbance history?

Nyström, Per LU and McIntosh, A R (2003) In Oecologia 136(2). p.279-288
Abstract
Predatory species have been introduced to habitats spanning a wide range of environmental conditions. To better understand the consequences of predation in natural communities we need to examine how variations in abiotic factors modify the influence of predation. The effects of introduced predators may vary amongst habitats if natural disturbance affects the abundance and taxonomic composition of consumers and their resources, or the predator alters recolonisation after disturbance. We tested whether a bed-moving disturbance altered subsequent interactions involving native and introduced predatory fish, invertebrate grazers and algae in experimental channels within a New Zealand stream. Disturbance reduced the abundance of invertebrates by... (More)
Predatory species have been introduced to habitats spanning a wide range of environmental conditions. To better understand the consequences of predation in natural communities we need to examine how variations in abiotic factors modify the influence of predation. The effects of introduced predators may vary amongst habitats if natural disturbance affects the abundance and taxonomic composition of consumers and their resources, or the predator alters recolonisation after disturbance. We tested whether a bed-moving disturbance altered subsequent interactions involving native and introduced predatory fish, invertebrate grazers and algae in experimental channels within a New Zealand stream. Disturbance reduced the abundance of invertebrates by 84%, and induced mortality of Conoesucidae caddisflies. However, the relative abundance of taxa changed little immediately following the disturbance. Invertebrate communities recovered following disturbance in fishless channels and those with native galaxiids (Galaxias vulgaris), and were almost indistinguishable from undisturbed fishless controls after 2 weeks. Invertebrate abundance declined and algal abundance increased in channels with exotic brown trout (Salmo trutta) and their effect was strongest in previously disturbed channels. However, predators and disturbance only had interactive effects on grazer emigration rates. Trout affected grazers through direct consumption (e.g. Conoesucidae caddisflies), and induced higher emigration rates of grazers from channels via drift (e.g. the mayfly Deleatidium). The effects of predatory trout and galaxiids combined differed in disturbed and stable channels. The observed combined effects of predatory trout and galaxiids on invertebrate grazers were lower than expected in stable channels partly due to low emigration rates of Conoesucidae, whereas emigration of grazers was higher than expected in the disturbed channels. The biomass of algae was higher than expected in disturbed channels with both predators. Collectively, our results indicate that predator substitutability and the non-lethal effects of introduced predators varied depending on disturbance history, but their effects on the biomass of grazers and algae did not. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Oecologia
volume
136
issue
2
pages
279 - 288
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:12774224
  • wos:000184092500013
  • scopus:0042710927
ISSN
1432-1939
DOI
10.1007/s00442-003-1250-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
828b6fdb-5d31-4aae-9c84-cf8e90eb6130 (old id 136808)
alternative location
http://dx.doi.org/
date added to LUP
2007-06-28 15:49:06
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:38:15
@article{828b6fdb-5d31-4aae-9c84-cf8e90eb6130,
  abstract     = {Predatory species have been introduced to habitats spanning a wide range of environmental conditions. To better understand the consequences of predation in natural communities we need to examine how variations in abiotic factors modify the influence of predation. The effects of introduced predators may vary amongst habitats if natural disturbance affects the abundance and taxonomic composition of consumers and their resources, or the predator alters recolonisation after disturbance. We tested whether a bed-moving disturbance altered subsequent interactions involving native and introduced predatory fish, invertebrate grazers and algae in experimental channels within a New Zealand stream. Disturbance reduced the abundance of invertebrates by 84%, and induced mortality of Conoesucidae caddisflies. However, the relative abundance of taxa changed little immediately following the disturbance. Invertebrate communities recovered following disturbance in fishless channels and those with native galaxiids (Galaxias vulgaris), and were almost indistinguishable from undisturbed fishless controls after 2 weeks. Invertebrate abundance declined and algal abundance increased in channels with exotic brown trout (Salmo trutta) and their effect was strongest in previously disturbed channels. However, predators and disturbance only had interactive effects on grazer emigration rates. Trout affected grazers through direct consumption (e.g. Conoesucidae caddisflies), and induced higher emigration rates of grazers from channels via drift (e.g. the mayfly Deleatidium). The effects of predatory trout and galaxiids combined differed in disturbed and stable channels. The observed combined effects of predatory trout and galaxiids on invertebrate grazers were lower than expected in stable channels partly due to low emigration rates of Conoesucidae, whereas emigration of grazers was higher than expected in the disturbed channels. The biomass of algae was higher than expected in disturbed channels with both predators. Collectively, our results indicate that predator substitutability and the non-lethal effects of introduced predators varied depending on disturbance history, but their effects on the biomass of grazers and algae did not.},
  author       = {Nyström, Per and McIntosh, A R},
  issn         = {1432-1939},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {279--288},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Oecologia},
  title        = {Are impacts of an exotic predator on a stream food web influenced by disturbance history?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00442-003-1250-3},
  volume       = {136},
  year         = {2003},
}