Effects of the invasive bivalve Corbicula fluminea on settling juveniles and other benthic taxa

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2007
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Werner, Stefan
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The Asian clam Corbicula has become established worldwide in a wide range of freshwater ecosystems. Corbicula fluminea invaded Lake Constance (Central Europe) between 2000 and 2002 and has reached densities up to 3520 individuals > 5 mm in length per square meter in sandy areas. However, the effect of this species on other benthic invertebrates remains unclear. Here, we show that ecosystem engineering via shell production by C. fluminea in Lake Constance considerably increases availability of hard surfaces in primarily soft-bottomed habitats. We studied effects of C. fluminea on littoral communities of sandy habitats using boxes containing bare sand, sand with C. fluminea shells (2000/m²), and sand with live clams (1000/m²). After 2 mo of exposure, the overall benthic community did not differ among treatments, but density of the mayfly Caenis spp. increased in boxes containing shells compared to the boxes containing sand or sand with live clams (analysis of variance [ANOVA], p < 0.0001). The density of shells greatly increased after mass mortality of C. fluminea populations. Our results indicate that shells can provide valuable hard surfaces for species that prefer structured habitats, especially in unstructured soft-bottomed habitats. In addition, density of juvenile C. fluminea was lower in boxes containing live adult clams than in boxes containing sand or sand and shells (ANOVA, p = 0.0048), possibly because of a chemical cue that might hinder settlement of juveniles in areas with high intraspecific concurrence.

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Fachgebiet (DDC)
570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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Asian clam, ecosystem engineering, hard substrate, macroinvertebrate, chemical cue, Dreissena polymorpha, Ephemeropter
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ISO 690WERNER, Stefan, Karl-Otto ROTHHAUPT, 2007. Effects of the invasive bivalve Corbicula fluminea on settling juveniles and other benthic taxa. In: Journal of the North American Benthological Society. 2007, 26(4), pp. 673-680. ISSN 0887-3593. eISSN 1937-237X
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@article{Werner2007Effec-7179,
  year={2007},
  title={Effects of the invasive bivalve Corbicula fluminea on settling juveniles and other benthic taxa},
  number={4},
  volume={26},
  issn={0887-3593},
  journal={Journal of the North American Benthological Society},
  pages={673--680},
  author={Werner, Stefan and Rothhaupt, Karl-Otto}
}
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