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Published 2009-11-25 Published on SciPeople2009-11-25 18:38:28 JournalBiological Invasions

Invaders are not a random selection of species
Karatayev A. Y., Burlakova L. E., Padilla D. K., Mastitsky S. E., Olenin S. / Сергей Мастицкий
Biological Invasions (2009) 11(9): 2009-2019
Abstract We assembled information on 119 species of freshwater macroinvertebrate invaders in North America and Europe, and compared them to all native freshwater species in North America and Europe. We tested whether the invaders were a random or selected group among taxa (phylum or class), water quality requirements, and feeding habit. We found that freshwater macroinvertebrate invaders are not a random selection of species, and are overrepresented by molluscs and crustaceans, while taxa richness of native communities are dominated by insects. Over 35% of native species of aquatic invertebrates in North America are only able to live in areas with excellent or very good water quality, and are intolerant of organic pollution. In contrast, all invaders are tolerant of at least moderate amounts of organic pollution. There was a significant difference in the distribution of feeding habits between native species and invaders: collector-filterers (including suspension feeders) were 2.5–3 times more abundant, and predators were 3–4 times less abundant among invaders than among native invertebrates. The ongoing spread of exotic species affects the biodiversity of selected taxa, shifts communities toward greater tolerance of organic pollution and increases the numbers of suspension feeders, thereby enhancing benthic pelagic coupling in waterbodies with high densities of invaders. Because these processes are very similar in Europe and North America, we suggest that the observed patterns may have a common global effect.


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