Niche partitioning between invasive and native corixids (Hemiptera, Corixidae) in south-west Spain

Coccia, Cristina, Fry, Brian, Ramírez, Francisco, Boyero, Luz, Bunn, Stuart E., Diz-Salgado, Carmen, Walton, Mark, Le Vay, Lewis, and Green, Andy J. (2016) Niche partitioning between invasive and native corixids (Hemiptera, Corixidae) in south-west Spain. Aquatic Sciences, 78 (4). pp. 779-791.

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Abstract

Trichocorixa verticalis verticalis, a North American water boatman, is the only alien corixid in European fresh waters. It has rapidly spread, becoming the dominant corixid in and around the Doana protected area in SW Spain. Its high abundance and similar morphology to native corixids suggest that T. verticalis may impact them through competition for food. Here we used stable isotopes of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) and Bayesian analytical tools to investigate niche partitioning between T. verticalis and the native water boatman Sigara lateralis and Sigara scripta through a combination of experimental and field data. Species sampled from permanent ponds and laboratory aquaria could be separated based on their isotopic values (delta N-15 and delta C-13). S. lateralis consistently showed higher delta N-15 values than T. verticalis, suggesting that the invasive species may be feeding at a lower trophic position and relying more on herbivory than its native competitors. This was particularly true for the T. verticalis nymph stage, which showed lower delta N-15 values compared to adults, indicating ontogenetic dietary shifts. In contrast, native corixids and the invasive species showed similar isotopic compositions in temporary habitats at different stages in the flooding-desiccation cycle, suggesting some degree of niche overlap and a slight reduction in trophic level for S. lateralis when inhabiting ephemeral systems. The combination of experimental and field data can help elucidate trophic interactions during a biological invasion. Stable isotopes provided insights into the trophic ecology of this invasive species and into the mechanisms facilitating co-existence with native species.

Item ID: 45957
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: invasive species, Corixidae, Trichocorixa, Sigara, stable isotopes, niche partitioning
ISSN: 1420-9055
Funders: Consejería de Innovación, Ciencia y Empresa (CICE)
Projects and Grants: CICE Project P10-RNM-6262
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2016 07:38
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960406 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 100%
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