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Larval settlement preference of a native bivalve: the influence of an invasive alga versus native substrata


Gribben, P and Wright, JT and O'Connor, WA and Steinberg, P, Larval settlement preference of a native bivalve: the influence of an invasive alga versus native substrata, Aquatic Biology, 7, (3) pp. 217-227. ISSN 1864-7790 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.3354/ab00196


ABSTRACT: Recruitment patterns of marine invertebrates are strongly influenced by the habitat preference of larvae as larvae can choose to settle (or not) in response to positive or negative cues. High abundances of recruits of the native infaunal bivalve Anadara trapezia occur in the invasive alga Caulerpa taxifolia compared to native habitats. Using controlled laboratory experiments, A. trapezia larval habitat preference was investigated through exposure to available native (adult A. trapezia, Zostera capricorni and sediment from unvegetated areas) and invasive (C. taxifolia and sediments from C. taxifolia) substrata that co-occur in estuaries invaded by C. taxifolia in New South Wales, Australia. When exposed to all substrata, larval settlement was significantly higher on adults compared to all other substrata except Z. capricorni. Although settlement to C. taxifolia was low, larvae did not reject it as settlement surface. In pairwise comparisons, larval settlement was always higher on adults compared to all other substrata, although differences were only significant compared to C. taxifolia and unvegetated sediments. There was no difference in settlement when larvae were exposed to Z. capricorni and C. taxifolia. When offered a single substratum, larval settlement was significantly higher on adults and Z. capricorni compared to all remaining substrata. Manipulations of shells of adults indicated that larvae may be responding positively to biofilms on the surface of shells. The data indicate that A. trapezia larvae prefer to settle on adults and, while they do not prefer C. taxifolia, they do not reject it as a settlement surface. Therefore, C. taxifolia may serve as a sink habitat for A. trapezia. KEY WORDS: Anadara trapezia Bivalve Caulerpa taxifolia Habitat choice Habitat-forming invasive species Invasion biology Larval settlement Resale or republication not permitted without written consent of the publis

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Wright, JT (Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright)
ID Code:60973
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:NC Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability
Deposited On:2010-02-24
Last Modified:2011-09-21

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