Competition mediated coexistence of invading intermediate consumer, ninespine stickleback, and a resident omnivorous top predator, Arctic char
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Climate change results in changes in the geographical distribution of species. Species invasion success into a new area is dependent both on the dispersal ability of species as well as the strength and identity of biotic interactions between resident and invading species. Coexistence in intraguild predation (IGP) systems depends on the relative strength of predation and competition interactions which in turn are temperature dependent. We investigated the effects of introducing an intermediate consumer, ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius), into allopatric populations of the omnivorous top predator Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus). Introductions were performed in lakes with different climate regimes, two tundra lakes and two forest lakes that differed in average summer temperatures with 1.4 ± 0.5 ºC (average ± 1SD). We found that sticklebacks were able to invade and increase in density in both tundra and forest lakes. Sticklebacks had strong negative effects on resource densities which also was reflected in a decreased growth of small char. Increasing stickleback density had a positive effect on growth of large adults and on the maximum size of char. We conclude that stickleback presence is not limited by biological interactions in these systems but rather by dispersion ability. We suggest that the size dependency in the response of char to the invasion of sticklebacks is fundamental for the successful invasion of sticklebacks, and that size dependent interactions including cannibalism play important roles for coexistence in natural IGP-systems.
Intraguild predation, omnivory, competition, cannibalism, temperature, climate change, invasion
Research subject biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37992OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37992DiVA: diva2:371636