Data from: Environmental disturbance alters the ecological impact of an invading shrimp
Cite this dataset
Candolin, Ulrika; Bertell, Elina; Kallio, Jarkko (2019). Data from: Environmental disturbance alters the ecological impact of an invading shrimp [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.7r1j0d6
1. Alien species are altering ecosystems around the globe. To predict and manage their impacts, the underlying mechanisms need to be understood. This is challenging in ecosystems undergoing multiple disturbances as unexpected interactions can alter the impact of individual disturbances. Such interactions are likely to be common in disturbed ecosystems, but have so far received little attention. 2. We investigated whether interactions between an invading shrimp Palaemon elegans and another human-induced disturbance, the population growth of a native mesopredator, the threespine stickleback, influences a third human-induced disturbance, the increase in biomass of filamentous algae. Increases in both the native mesopredator population and algal biomass have been promoted by eutrophication and a trophic cascade triggered by declining predatory fish stocks. 3. We used mesocosm and field enclosure experiments, combined with analyses of long-term trends in the abundance of the invader and the native mesopredator, to dissect the influence of the two species on algal biomass when alone and when co-occurring. 4. The impact of the invader on algal biomass depended on the native mesopredator; shrimp on their own had no effect on algal growth, but mitigated algae accumulation when competing with the stickleback for resources. Competition caused the shrimp to shift its diet from grazers to algae, and its habitat choice from open to vegetated habitats. The native mesopredator, in contrast, increased algal biomass irrespective of the presence of the invader, by preying on grazers and inducing a trophic cascade. 5. Our results show that the presence of a native mesopredator causes an invader to alter its behaviour and thereby its ecological impact. This demonstrates that interactions between invaders and other anthropogenic disturbances can alter the ecological impact of invaders, and, notably, that the impact of invaders can be positive and stabilise disturbed ecosystems. These results stress the importance of considering interactions among disturbances when investigating the ecological impact of alien species.