Is spatial variation in population size structures of a stream-dwelling caddisfly due to the altered effects of a predator by a third-party species?

Is spatial variation in population size structures of a stream-dwelling caddisfly due to the... Predators alter abundances and life history characteristics of prey, and effects of predator–prey interactions can be altered by third-party species. Here, we examine size structures of the caddisfly, Phylloicus hansoni, in Trinidadian streams with two distinct fish assemblages: upstream reaches where the predatory killifish, Anablepsoides hartii, is the only fish species (Killifish-Only reaches), and downstream reaches where killifish and the omnivorous guppy, Poecilia reticulata, coexist (Killifish–Guppy reaches). We asked: Do P. hansoni larvae exhibit differences in size structure between reaches with differing fish assemblages? We found that size distributions of larvae differed between reaches in the majority of replicate streams, with smaller median body lengths in Killifish-Only reaches. Killifish–Guppy reaches had higher proportions of the largest instar, but we did not find differences in body length within an instar. No evidence of size-selective predation was found through analysis of killifish stomach contents, and environmental variables were largely similar between upstream and downstream reaches of the five study streams, aside from higher killifish abundances in upstream reaches. Our results, coupled with previous evidence of guppies altering killifish populations, suggest that the mediating effects of a third-party species (guppies) on predator–prey (killifish–caddisfly) interactions can affect the population size structure of prey populations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Hydrobiologia Springer Journals

Is spatial variation in population size structures of a stream-dwelling caddisfly due to the altered effects of a predator by a third-party species?

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Ecology; Zoology
ISSN
0018-8158
eISSN
1573-5117
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10750-018-3674-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Predators alter abundances and life history characteristics of prey, and effects of predator–prey interactions can be altered by third-party species. Here, we examine size structures of the caddisfly, Phylloicus hansoni, in Trinidadian streams with two distinct fish assemblages: upstream reaches where the predatory killifish, Anablepsoides hartii, is the only fish species (Killifish-Only reaches), and downstream reaches where killifish and the omnivorous guppy, Poecilia reticulata, coexist (Killifish–Guppy reaches). We asked: Do P. hansoni larvae exhibit differences in size structure between reaches with differing fish assemblages? We found that size distributions of larvae differed between reaches in the majority of replicate streams, with smaller median body lengths in Killifish-Only reaches. Killifish–Guppy reaches had higher proportions of the largest instar, but we did not find differences in body length within an instar. No evidence of size-selective predation was found through analysis of killifish stomach contents, and environmental variables were largely similar between upstream and downstream reaches of the five study streams, aside from higher killifish abundances in upstream reaches. Our results, coupled with previous evidence of guppies altering killifish populations, suggest that the mediating effects of a third-party species (guppies) on predator–prey (killifish–caddisfly) interactions can affect the population size structure of prey populations.

Journal

HydrobiologiaSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 4, 2018

References

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