Differences in stress tolerance and brood size between a non-indigenous and an indigenous gammarid in the northern Baltic Sea

J Sareyka, Patrik Kraufvelin, M Lenz, M Lindstrom, R Tollrian, M Wahl

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    Differences in stress tolerance and reproductive traits may drive the competitive hierarchy between non-indigenous and indigenous species and turn the former ones into successful invaders. In the northern Baltic Sea, the non-indigenous Gammarus tigrinus is a recent invader of littoral ecosystems and now occupies comparable ecological niches as the indigenous G. zaddachi. In laboratory experiments on specimens collected between June and August 2009 around Tvarminne in southern Finland (59A degrees 50'N/23A degrees 15'E), the tolerances towards heat stress and hypoxia were determined for the two species using lethal time, LT(50), as response variable. The brood size of the two species was also studied and some observations were made on maturation of juveniles. Gammarus tigrinus was more resistant to hypoxia and survived at higher temperatures than G. zaddachi. Brood size was also greater in G. tigrinus than in G. zaddachi and G. tigrinus matured at a smaller size and earlier than G. zaddachi. Hence, there are clear competitive advantages for the non-indigenous G. tigrinus compared to the indigenous G. zaddachi, and these may be further strengthened through ongoing environmental changes related to increased eutrophication and a warming climate in the Baltic Sea region.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)2001–2008
    Number of pages8
    JournalMarine Biology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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