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Biotic resistance in freshwater fish communities: species richness, saturation or species identity?
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematics and Mathematical Statistics. (Arcum)
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 124, no 8, 1058-1064 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Some communities are susceptible to invasions and some are not. Why? Elton suggested in 1958 that the ability of the community to withstand invading species - its biotic resistance - depends on the number of resident species. Later contributors have emphasized the habitat's ability to support species, as well as the contribution of individual species to the resistance. In this study we use information from 184 introductions of Arctic char into Swedish lakes to study both abiotic and biotic aspects of the resident community's ability to resist introductions. We find that the best model included the proportion of forest cover and the proportion of agricultural land cover in the watershed in combination with the presence versus absence of northern pike. Thus, the most important biotic factor to explain the outcome of introductions of Arctic char is the presence of northern pike, a large piscivore. This means that one single species explains the outcome of the introductions better than does the species richness or the saturation level of the community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 124, no 8, 1058-1064 p.
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107853DOI: 10.1111/oik.01700ISI: 000359058600010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-107853DiVA: diva2:859780
Available from: 2015-10-08 Created: 2015-08-28 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Biotic resistance in freshwater fish communities
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Biotic resistance in freshwater fish communities
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Invasions of non-native species cause problems in ecosystems worldwide, and despite the extensive effort that has been put into research about invasions, we still lack a good understanding for why some, but not other, communities resist these invasions. In this doctoral thesis I test hypotheses on biotic resistance using a large dataset of more than 1000 both failed and successful introductions of freshwater fish into Swedish lakes. We have found that the classic species richness hypothesis is a poor descriptor of introduction success because it fails to acknowledge that resident species contribute to the resistance in different ways. We developed a new measure of biotic resistance, the weighted species richness, which takes into account that the resident species contributes to the resistance with different strength and sign. Further, we correlated performance traits of species in their role as an invader and as a resident species to predict how the biotic resistance of these communities would develop over time. We found a positive correlation between performance traits: Some species have high introduction success, they make a large contribution to the resistance, and they cause extinctions when introduced but do not go extinct themselves when other species establishes, whereas other species are weak performers in these respects. Thus, the biotic resistance of these communities should grow stronger as non-native species accumulates. These results give us clues about what type of communities that should be most sensitive to further invasions, i.e., communities harboring species weak performers. 

My results show that the biotic resistance of communities is an important factor in determining invasibility of a community. They also show that methods for quantifying resistance must take into account how interactions are structured in nature. What determine the biotic resistance of a community is the type of interactions that the resident species have with the invader and not the species richness of the community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2015. 26 p.
Keyword
biotic resistance, freshwater fish, introductions, invasions, invasion success, invasibility, invasiveness, species richness, saturation, species identity, weighted species richness
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110251 (URN)978-91-7601-326-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-11-12, Naturvetarhuset, N320, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-10-22 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2015-11-13Bibliographically approved

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