Effects of crayfish on leaf processing and invertebrate colonisation of leaves in a headwater stream: decoupling of a trophic cascade
ABSTRACT I performed a field experiment to test the hypothesis that omnivorous crayfish both promote the breakdown of leaves (basal resources) and decouple any potential trophic cascade by similtaneously affecting intermediate consumers as well as there basal resource. Leaf packs were placed inside in situ artificial channels, which excluded or allowed access to crayfish.. During a 4 week period, crayfish greatly promoted leaf processing, with decomposition rates among the fastest ever recorded from temperate streams. Crayfish also affected invertebrate abundance in the leaf packs. As a result of resource consumption, predation and bioturbation, crayfish treatments contained significantly lower densities of invertebrates. In contrast, exclusion of crayfish did not promote leaf decay via increased colonisation by detritivores, primarily because of the conspicuous lack of shredder insects in New Zealnd streams. The results support the hypothesis that omnivorous top consumers decouple cascading chains through similtaneous direct and indirect effects on intermediate consumers and basal resources. Decapod consumers, which have largely been ignored in leaf decomposition studies, can be key leaf processorsin temperate streams where shredder insects are poorly represented.
SourceAvailable from: Clément Lagrue[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Recent increases in biological invasions frequency may have important consequences on native communities. However, functional redundancy between invasive and native species could reduce non-native species effects on native ecosystems. Despite this, even small differences in functional traits between these species may still have unpredictable effects on colonized ecosystems. Invasive crayfish, as ecosystem engineers, potentially have wide and complex effects on recipient ecosystems, even when replacing a native counterpart. We used laboratory microcosms to test whether native (Astacus astacus) and invasive crayfish species (Orconectes limosus, Pacifastacus leniusculus and Procambarus clarkii) are actually functionally redundant in their effects on prey/shredder density and leaf litter breakdown. Results show that crayfish strongly influenced macroinvertebrate numbers and leaf litter breakdown and indicate that differences in direct (prey and leaf litter consumption) and indirect (prey habitat use and leaf litter breakdown) effects between crayfish species do exist. While the replacement of A. astacus by O. limosus may have induced only minor changes in freshwater ecosystems, invasions by the larger and more aggressive P. clarkii and P. leniusculus will likely have strong effects on invaded ecosystem. Overall, there seems to be no functional redundancy between these four species and outcomes of crayfish invasion will likely be species specific.Biological Invasions 07/2014; 16(7). DOI:10.1007/s10530-013-0590-0 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Summary 1. Biological invasions are widely recognised as a significant component of human-caused environmental change and a primary threat to native biodiversity. The negative impacts of species invasions are particularly evident for freshwater crayfish faunas.2. This study provides novel insight into the ecological effects of native and non-native crayfish on zoobenthic communities (with emphasis on the non-native rusty crayfish, Orconectes rusticus) across broad scales by combining a meta-analysis of small-scale experimental studies with a long-term observational study conducted over a 24 year period in Sparkling Lake, Wisconsin, U.S.A. (46°00′N, 89°42′W). 3. The meta-analysis summarised quantitatively the results of cage experiments for seven species of crayfish spanning four continents. We found that total zoobenthos densities (primarily Gastropoda and Diptera) were significantly lower in treatments containing crayfish relative to controls; a result that was significant for non-native crayfish but not for crayfish in their native range, perhaps owing to a small sample size. In contrast to other species, rusty crayfish were also negatively associated with Ephemeroptera.4. Results from the time series analysis comparing temporal trends in rusty crayfish and invertebrate abundances from Sparkling Lake were consistent with the findings from the meta-analysis. Rusty crayfish were negatively correlated with the abundance of total zoobenthos, Diptera, Ephemeroptera and Odonata, as well as families of Trichoptera.5. By coupling the results from short and long-term research, our study offers greater insight into the nature of crayfish-invertebrate interactions in aquatic systems, revealing consistent effects of invasive crayfish on native fauna. The control and management of invasive species is facilitated by the knowledge that well executed small-scale studies may be extrapolated to understand larger-scale ecological interactions.Freshwater Biology 02/2006; 51(2). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2427.2005.01485.x · 2.91 Impact Factor