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Data from: Cross-habitat effects shape the ecosystem consequences of co-invasion by a pelagic and a benthic consumer

Citation

Fryxell, David C. et al. (2017), Data from: Cross-habitat effects shape the ecosystem consequences of co-invasion by a pelagic and a benthic consumer, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.n34s9

Abstract

Invasive species can have major impacts on ecosystems, yet little work has addressed the combined effects of multiple invaders that exploit different habitats. Two common invaders in aquatic systems are pelagic fishes and crayfishes. Pelagic-oriented fish effects are typically strong on the pelagic food web, whereas crayfish effects are strong on the benthic food web. Thus, co-invasion may generate strong ecological responses in both habitats. We tested the effects of co-invasion on experimental pond ecosystems using two widespread invasive species, one pelagic (western mosquitofish) and one benthic (red swamp crayfish). As expected, mosquitofish had strong effects on the pelagic food web, reducing the abundance of Daphnia and causing a strong trophic cascade (increase in phytoplankton). Crayfish had strong effects on the benthic food web, reducing the abundance of benthic filamentous algae. Yet, we also found evidence for important cross-habitat effects. Mosquitofish treatments reduced the biomass of benthic filamentous algae, and crayfish treatments increased Daphnia and phytoplankton abundance. Combined effects of mosquitofish and crayfish were primarily positively or negatively additive, and completely offsetting for some responses, including gross primary production (GPP). Though co-invasion did not affect GPP, it strongly shifted primary production from the benthos into the water column. Effects on snail abundance revealed an interaction; snail abundance decreased only in the presence of both invaders. These results suggest that cross-habitat effects of co-invaders may lead to a variety of ecological outcomes; some of which may be unpredictable based on an understanding of each invader alone.

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Location

United States