An acanthocephalan parasite mediates intraguild predation between invasive and native freshwater amphipods (Crustacea)
Article first published online: 25 NOV 2003
Volume 48, Issue 12, pages 2085–2093, December 2003
How to Cite
Macneil, C., Fielding, N. J., Dick, J. T. A., Briffa, M., Prenter, J., Hatcher, M. J. and Dunn, A. M. (2003), An acanthocephalan parasite mediates intraguild predation between invasive and native freshwater amphipods (Crustacea). Freshwater Biology, 48: 2085–2093. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2427.2003.01145.x
- Issue published online: 25 NOV 2003
- Article first published online: 25 NOV 2003
- (Manuscript accepted 20 August 2003)
- biological invasion;
- Echinorynchus truttae;
- intraguild predation
1. The balance of predation between closely related invasive and native species can be an important determinant of the success or failure of biological invasions. In Irish freshwaters, the introduced amphipod Gammarus pulex has replaced the native G. duebeni celticus, possibly through differential mutual intraguild predation (IGP). Theoretically, parasitism could mediate such predation and hence the invasion outcome. However, this idea remains poorly studied.
2. In a field survey, we show that the acanthocephalan parasite Echinorynchus truttae is present in more G. pulex populations than G. d. celticus populations. In addition, within parasitised populations, E. truttae is more prevalent in the invader than in the native.
3. We show for the first time that an acanthocephalan parasite mediates predation between its intermediate macroinvertebrate hosts. In a field experiment, E. truttae parasitism of the invader lowered IGP upon the unparasitised native. In laboratory experiments, parasitism of G. pulex significantly reduced their predatory impact on recently moulted female G. d. celticus. Parasitism also appeared to cause reduction in predatory behaviour, such as attacks per contact on precopula guarded female natives.
4. We conclude that higher parasite prevalence in invaders as compared with natives, by mediation of interspecific interactions, could promote species coexistence, or at least slow species replacements, in this particular biological invasion.