Spatial distribution shifts in two temperate fish species associated to a newly-introduced tropical seaweed invasion

Spatial distribution shifts in two temperate fish species associated to a newly-introduced... The establishment of non-native habitat-forming seaweeds into new areas may trigger important changes in ecosystem functioning, yet their community and ecosystem-level effects remain largely understudied. Here we studied the spatial distribution of two common fish species (Xyrichtys novacula and Bothus podas) which are key components of communities in unconsolidated bottoms of temperate areas regarding the colonization of the newly-introduced tropical seaweed Halimeda incrassata in the Mediterranean Sea. We used a spatially-explicit before-after-control-impact model and a unique data-set formed by 6 years of fine-scale spatial information of fish and seaweed distribution and abundance. We demonstrate a long-term alteration on the spatial distribution of X. novacula characterized by a shift towards non-native H. incrassata beds, while no effect on B. podas. The introduction of the tropical seaweed H. incrassata has led to the re-distribution of X. novacula, potentially by harbouring a greater biodiversity of species at the base of the food-web through adding biogenic structure to an otherwise bare sediment. Our work demonstrates that non-native tropical habitat-forming species have the potential to maintain or even enhance fish abundance in unconsolidated bottoms in temperate areas potentially altering the functioning of native habitats. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Invasions Springer Journals

Spatial distribution shifts in two temperate fish species associated to a newly-introduced tropical seaweed invasion

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Life Sciences; Ecology; Freshwater & Marine Ecology; Plant Sciences; Developmental Biology
ISSN
1387-3547
eISSN
1573-1464
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10530-018-1768-2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The establishment of non-native habitat-forming seaweeds into new areas may trigger important changes in ecosystem functioning, yet their community and ecosystem-level effects remain largely understudied. Here we studied the spatial distribution of two common fish species (Xyrichtys novacula and Bothus podas) which are key components of communities in unconsolidated bottoms of temperate areas regarding the colonization of the newly-introduced tropical seaweed Halimeda incrassata in the Mediterranean Sea. We used a spatially-explicit before-after-control-impact model and a unique data-set formed by 6 years of fine-scale spatial information of fish and seaweed distribution and abundance. We demonstrate a long-term alteration on the spatial distribution of X. novacula characterized by a shift towards non-native H. incrassata beds, while no effect on B. podas. The introduction of the tropical seaweed H. incrassata has led to the re-distribution of X. novacula, potentially by harbouring a greater biodiversity of species at the base of the food-web through adding biogenic structure to an otherwise bare sediment. Our work demonstrates that non-native tropical habitat-forming species have the potential to maintain or even enhance fish abundance in unconsolidated bottoms in temperate areas potentially altering the functioning of native habitats.

Journal

Biological InvasionsSpringer Journals

Published: May 28, 2018

References

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