Life history traits of aquatic non-indigenous species: freshwater vs. marine habitats

Casties, Isabel and Briski, Elizabeta (2019) Life history traits of aquatic non-indigenous species: freshwater vs. marine habitats Aquatic Invasions, 14 (4). pp. 566-581. DOI 10.3391/ai.2019.14.4.01.

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One of the most dominant concepts in invasion ecology is the stage-based invasion model, consisting of transport, introduction, establishment and spread. Many species fail at one of the stages, with propagule pressure (i.e. number of introduced individuals) identified as a principal factor affecting establishment success. Population characteristics such as phenotypic plasticity and beneficial life history traits may facilitate successful transition of species through different stages of the process; however, studies on the latter are not so common and most of those studies focus on terrestrial taxa. In this study, we hypothesized seven life history traits that may be beneficial for invasion success of aquatic species, and determined those traits for established non-indigenous species (NIS) in the North and Baltic Seas (i.e. marine environment) and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River regions (i.e. freshwater environment). This is the first study that examined certain life history traits of all NIS established in particular regions, as well as compared those traits between marine and freshwater habitats. Our study determined some differences in life history traits between NIS in the marine and freshwater habitats. Those differences were connected to different taxonomic groups that were dominant NIS in these two types of habitats. Furthermore, species originating from different donor regions had also different life history traits. The majority of NIS in both regions were r-strategists. There was a significantly higher number of NIS that were able to reproduce both asexually and sexually and to produce dormant stages in the freshwater than in marine habitat. Finally, as r-strategy, asexual reproduction and dormancy were dominant traits of NIS in the freshwater habitat, freshwater ecosystems may be under greater invasion risk than marine ones, as those traits reduce both demographic and environmental stochasticity during the invasion process.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Baltic Sea, dormancy, Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River, non-indigenous species, North Sea, regeneration, r-strategy
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-OEB Ökosystembiologie des Ozeans
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EOE-B Experimental Ecology - Benthic Ecology
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3391/ai.2019.14.4.01
ISSN: 1818-5487
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2019 10:12
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2019 10:12

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