Skip to main content
Dryad

Do alternative resources dampen functional responses of native but not alien gammarids?

Cite this dataset

Cuthbert, Ross N et al. (2022). Do alternative resources dampen functional responses of native but not alien gammarids? [Dataset]. Dryad. https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.xsj3tx9jr

Abstract

While aquatic invasive predators are among the most impactful trophic groups, we lack understanding of whether alternative food resources mediate adverse predatory effects and stabilise native prey communities. Here, we use comparative functional responses to examine the influence of alternative food resources (Fucus sp.) on predator-prey interaction strengths from three gammarid crustaceans, with one native (Gammarus locusta) and two existing and emerging invasive (Gammarus tigrinus, Pontogammarus maeoticus, respectively) species, towards larval chironomid prey. All gammarids exhibited Type II functional responses, irrespective of the presence of alternative seaweed disks. Fucus sp. disks significantly reduced predation rates overall, however, significant reductions in maximum feeding rates (i.e. functional response magnitudes) were only evident in the native species and not for the two invaders. Our results thus may suggest that alternative resources dampen the predatory interaction strength of native but not invasive alien species, concerning these three study organisms. This potentially exacerbates impacts of invasive predators relative to natives in diverse communities. Studies should increasingly consider alternative resources when quantifying ecological impacts of current and future invasive alien species compared to natives.

Funding

Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Leverhulme Trust, Award: ECF-2021-001