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Native species behaviour mitigates the impact of habitat-forming invasive seaweed


Wright, JT and Byers, JE and Koukoumaftsis, LP and Ralph, PJ and Gribben, PE, Native species behaviour mitigates the impact of habitat-forming invasive seaweed, Oecologia, 163, (2) pp. 527-534. ISSN 0029-8549 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00442-010-1608-2


Habitat-forming invasive species cause large, novel changes to the abiotic environment. These changes may elicit important behavioural responses in native fauna, yet little is known about mechanisms driving this behaviour and how such trait-mediated responses influence the fitness of native species. Low dissolved oxygen is a key abiotic change created by the habitat-forming invasive seaweed, Caulerpa taxifolia, which influences an important behavioural response (burrowing depth) in the native infaunal bivalve Anadara trapezia. In Caulerpa-colonised areas, Anadara often emerged completely from the sediment, and we experimentally demonstrate that water column hypoxia beneath the Caulerpa canopy is the mechanism instigating this "pop-up" behaviour. Importantly, pop-up in Caulerpa allowed similar survivorship to that in unvegetated sediment; however, when we prevented Anadara from popping-up, they suffered >50% mortality in just 1 month. Our findings not only highlight the substantial environmental alteration by Caulerpa, but also an important role for the behaviour of native species in mitigating the effects of habitat-forming invasive species. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Wright, JT (Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright)
ID Code:64041
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:23
Deposited By:NC Marine Conservation and Resource Sustainability
Deposited On:2010-06-21
Last Modified:2011-03-24

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