Intra‐ and interspecific competition among coexisting lotic snails

Intra‐ and interspecific competition among coexisting lotic snails The competitive interactions of two lotic snails, Elimiacahawbensis and Elimiacarinifera, were examined in a second‐order spring‐fed stream. We first demonstrated food limitation in laboratory microcosms where snails grew faster when exposed to enhanced periphyton levels. We then tested the magnitude and relative strengths of intra‐ and interspecific competition in similar stream and laboratory mesocosm experiments. Treatments were maintained in Plexiglas enclosures over a 7‐week period with 0, 1×, 2× and 4× ambient biomass of each species alone, as well as mixed species treatments at 2× and 4× ambient. Snail responses to treatments were almost identical in field and laboratory experiments. Growth rates of both species were reduced by increased density of snails indicating strong intra‐ and interspecific competition among E.cahawbensis and E.carinifera. An analysis of the strengths of intra‐ and interspecific competition indicated minimal differences for either species, implying a lack of competitive dominance. Although periphyton biomass was generally highest without snails, there was little difference in periphyton biomass and snail production over the four‐fold density range, regardless of species composition. These results suggest that E.cahawbensis and E.carinifera are functionally redundant with density‐dependent responses in growth rate resulting in similar grazing pressure across a density gradient. This clearly demonstrates that species impact is not necessarily reflected by measures of abundance or biomass, and that secondary production should be considered. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oikos Wiley

Intra‐ and interspecific competition among coexisting lotic snails

Oikos, Volume 96 (2) – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services
ISSN
0030-1299
eISSN
1600-0706
D.O.I.
10.1034/j.1600-0706.2002.960207.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The competitive interactions of two lotic snails, Elimiacahawbensis and Elimiacarinifera, were examined in a second‐order spring‐fed stream. We first demonstrated food limitation in laboratory microcosms where snails grew faster when exposed to enhanced periphyton levels. We then tested the magnitude and relative strengths of intra‐ and interspecific competition in similar stream and laboratory mesocosm experiments. Treatments were maintained in Plexiglas enclosures over a 7‐week period with 0, 1×, 2× and 4× ambient biomass of each species alone, as well as mixed species treatments at 2× and 4× ambient. Snail responses to treatments were almost identical in field and laboratory experiments. Growth rates of both species were reduced by increased density of snails indicating strong intra‐ and interspecific competition among E.cahawbensis and E.carinifera. An analysis of the strengths of intra‐ and interspecific competition indicated minimal differences for either species, implying a lack of competitive dominance. Although periphyton biomass was generally highest without snails, there was little difference in periphyton biomass and snail production over the four‐fold density range, regardless of species composition. These results suggest that E.cahawbensis and E.carinifera are functionally redundant with density‐dependent responses in growth rate resulting in similar grazing pressure across a density gradient. This clearly demonstrates that species impact is not necessarily reflected by measures of abundance or biomass, and that secondary production should be considered.

Journal

OikosWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2002

References

  • Resource overlap and competition in pond snails: an experimental analysis
    Brown, K. M.
  • Competition, disturbance, and community organization: the provision and subsequent utilization of space in a rocky intertidal community
    Dayton, P. K.
  • Mechanisms and consequences of interspecific competition between two stream insects
    Dudley, T. L.; D'Antonio, C. M.; Cooper, S. D.
  • A method for tagging individual benthic macroinvertebrates
    Freilich, J. E.
  • The interaction between competition and predation: a meta‐analysis of field experiments
    Gurevitch, J.; Morrison, J. A.; Hedges, L. V.
  • Life history and longevity of the plerocerid snail Elimia: a comparative study of eight populations
    Huryn, A. D.; Koebel, J. W.; Benke, A. C.
  • A simple air powered pump for laboratory streams
    Lawson, P. W.
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    Lawton, J. H.; Brown, V. K.
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    Osenberg, C. W.
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    Peckarsky, B. L.
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    Reice, S. R.
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    Resh, V. H.; Brown, A. V.; Covich, A. P.
  • Secondary production of two lotic snails (Pleuroceridae: Elimia)
    Richardson, T. D.; Scheiring, J. F.; Brown, K. M.

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