Non-lethal effects of an invasive species in the marine environment: the importance of early life-history stages


Rius, Marc, Turon, Xavier and Marshall, Dustin J. (2009) Non-lethal effects of an invasive species in the marine environment: the importance of early life-history stages Oecologia, 159, (4), pp. 873-882. (doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1256-y).

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Description/Abstract

Studies examining the effects of invasive species have focussed traditionally on the direct/lethal effects of the invasive on the native community but there is a growing recognition that invasive species may also have non-lethal effects. In terrestrial systems, non-lethal effects of invasive species can disrupt early life-history phases (such as fertilisation, dispersal and subsequent establishment) of native species, but in the marine environment most studies focus on adult rather than early life-history stages. Here, we examine the potential for an introduced sessile marine invertebrate (Styela plicata) to exert both lethal and non-lethal effects on a native species (Microcosmus squamiger) across multiple early life-history stages. We determined whether sperm from the invasive species interfered with the fertilisation of eggs from the native species and found no effect. However, we did find strong effects of the invasive species on the post-fertilisation performance of the native species. The invasive species inhibited the settlement of native larvae and, in the field, the presence of the invasive species was associated with a ten-fold increase in the post-settlement mortality of the native species, as well as an initial reduction of growth in the native. Our results suggest that larvae of the native species avoid settling near the invasive species due to reduced post-settlement survival in its presence. Overall, we found that invasive species can have complex and pervasive effects (both lethal and non-lethal) across the early life-history stages of the native species, which are likely to result in its displacement and to facilitate further invasion.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s00442-008-1256-y
ISSNs: 0029-8549 (print)
Keywords: fertilisation, invasive species, postmetamorphic performance, settlement, trait-mediated effects
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Organisations: Ocean Biochemistry & Ecosystems
ePrint ID: 354685
Date :
Date Event
April 2009Published
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2013 12:10
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 15:14
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/354685

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