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A long-term study (1949–2015) of the aftermaths of the deliberate experimental introduction of an invasive freshwater amphipod (Crustacea) to a small Island

MacNeil, C. and Campbell, M. (2018) A long-term study (1949–2015) of the aftermaths of the deliberate experimental introduction of an invasive freshwater amphipod (Crustacea) to a small Island. Aquatic Invasions, 13 (4). pp. 491-500.

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The ability to track changing distributions and long-term inter actions between native and introduced species provides insights into forecasting impacts of invaders. We used data from deliberate field introduction experiments of a freshwater Gammarus amphipod (Crustacea) to the rivers of a small British island, The Isle of Man. The deliberate introductions commenced in 1949 and re-sampling occurred in the ‘60s, ‘70s ‘80s, ‘90s, 200 5 and finally in 2015. The findings generally confirmed the failure of introductions of Gammarus pulex into sites previously dominated by the native Gammarus duebeni celticus even with high propagule pressure in terms of numbers of individual invaders released and repeated introductions. Despite this, the island-wide 2015 survey revealed that G. d. celticus occurred in fewer sites and G. pulex in more sites than a decade earlier, indicating at this island-wide scale, the displacement of G. pulex by G. d. celticus seems to be continuing. In addition, one of the introduction sites, Arbory Stream which contained G. d. celticus from 1951–2005 contained only G. pulex in 2015, showing that even after six decades, assumptions cannot be made as to the limits of invader range expansion. Multivariate analysis of physico-chemical data from the 2015 island-wide sur vey revealed water quality as a crucial environmental gradient that influences the distributions of the native and invader species, with the former in higher organic water quality sites than sites with the invader or where invader and native co-occurred. The North American amp hipod Crangonyx pseudogracilis had expanded its range since 2005, including invading low biological water quality sites previously devoid of both Gammarus spp.. Pollution from historic metal mining is implicated as a potential major factor excluding amphipods. This deliberate ecological experiment, through long-term monitoring, continues to provide insights into the factors determining the distributions of natives and invaders.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre
Copyright: © 2018 The Author(s).
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