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The Invasion of the Zebra Mussel - Effects on Phytoplankton Community Structure and Ecosystem Function
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Limnology.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Biological invasion has become a major threat to economy, ecology, global biodiversity and ecosystem function of aquatic ecosystems. The main aim of the thesis was to study the effects of the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha), a versatile invasive species, on phytoplankton dynamics and ecosystem function of lakes.

In a first attempt, I compared the density of Dreissena and the physicochemical data of ecosystems that it invaded among North American and European lakes to identify important factors in its invasion success. Secondly, I investigated the impact of zebra mussels on phytoplankton community composition in a natural lake. Thirdly, I evaluated whether zebra mussel feeding behavior were affected by the presence of predatory waterborne cues. Finally, I examined the effect of Dreissena on seston stoichiometry.

A Generalized Additive Model revealed that a joint effect of surface area, mean depth, total phosphorus and calcium concentrations can explain the variability in Dreissena density. Selective grazing by zebra mussels varied in relation to seasonal phytoplankton dynamics. Risk cues released by predators affected both feeding rate and prey selection of the mussels and had cascading indirect effects on phytoplankton biomass and community structure. I found that the flux in nutrients caused by differences in zebra mussel consumption lead to a variation in phytoplankton nutrient limitation.

The flexibility of zebra mussel feeding behavior and variation in susceptibility among phytoplankton groups to mussel ingestion indicate that invading zebra mussels could alter phytoplankton community composition of lakes and have important ecosystem consequences. The results of this thesis contribute to the growing evidence that predators indirectly affect resource dynamics and food web structure through their non-lethal effects on consumers. The results suggested that zebra mussel can indirectly both reduce and increase the energy transfer efficiency from primary producers to upper trophic levels in the pelagic and benthic food webs, respectively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2007. , p. 54
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 361
Keywords [en]
Invasive species, Zebra mussel, Invasion success, Selective feeding, Non-lethal effects of predator, Seston stoichiometry, Delayed fluorescence excitation spectroscopy, Phytoplankton dynamics, Trait-mediated indirect interaction, Ecosystem function
National Category
Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8301ISBN: 978-91-554-7015-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-8301DiVA, id: diva2:170974
Public defence
2007-12-06, Lindahlssalen, Kärnhuset, EBC, Norbyvägen, Uppsala, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-11-14 Created: 2007-11-14 Last updated: 2022-01-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Why is an invasive species more successful in some areas than others? A comparison of zebra mussel density in North American and European lakes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why is an invasive species more successful in some areas than others? A comparison of zebra mussel density in North American and European lakes
In: Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96405 (URN)
Available from: 2007-11-14 Created: 2007-11-14 Last updated: 2014-01-16
2. The effect of seasonal variation in selective feeding by zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) on phytoplankton community composition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The effect of seasonal variation in selective feeding by zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) on phytoplankton community composition
2007 (English)In: Freshwater Biology, ISSN 0046-5070, E-ISSN 1365-2427, Vol. 52, no 5, p. 823-842Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To investigate the impact of zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) on phytoplankton community composition, temporal variability in selective feeding by the mussels was determined from April to November 2005 in a natural lake using Delayed Fluorescence (DF) excitation spectroscopy. Selective grazing by zebra mussels varied in relation to seasonal phytoplankton dynamics; mussels showed a consistent preference for cryptophytes and avoidance of chlorophytes and cyanobacteria. Diatoms, chrysophytes and dinoflagellates responded differentially to zebra mussel grazing depending on their size. Analysis of excreted products of the zebra mussels revealed that in addition to chlorophytes and cyanobacteria, phytoplankton >50 μm and very small phytoplankton (≤7 μm) were largely expelled in pseudofaeces. The zebra mussel is a selective filter-feeder that alters its feeding behaviour in relation to phytoplankton composition to capture and ingest high quality phytoplankton, especially when phytoplankton occur in preferred size ranges. Flexibility of zebra mussel feeding behaviour and variation in susceptibility among phytoplankton groups to mussel ingestion indicate that invading zebra mussels could alter phytoplankton community composition of lakes and have important ecosystem consequences.

Keywords
Delayed Fluorescence, Lake Erken, phytoplankton dynamics, selective feeding, Zebra mussel
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96406 (URN)10.1111/j.1365-2427.2007.01732.x (DOI)000245987200005 ()
Available from: 2007-11-14 Created: 2007-11-14 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Non-lethal predator effects on the feeding rate and prey selection of the exotic zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Non-lethal predator effects on the feeding rate and prey selection of the exotic zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)
2007 (English)In: Oikos, ISSN 0030-1299, E-ISSN 1600-0706, Vol. 116, no 8, p. 1289-1298Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Predators may induce changes in prey feeding that indirectly influence both the impact of prey on resource abundances and their interactions with other species in their community. We evaluated whether clearance and excretion (faeces plus pseudofaeces) of phytoplankton by zebra mussels were affected by the presence of predatory cues from roach (Rutilus rutilus) and signal crayfish (Pasifastacus leniusculus). We found that non-lethal effects of predators can alter zebra mussel clearance rate and thus the impact of zebra mussels on phytoplankton. Risk cues released by both predators had similar negative effects on clearance rate of zebra mussels and cascading positive indirect effects on phytoplankton resources. Predation risk had a stronger effect on zebra mussels' clearance rate of cyanobacteria and diatoms than cryptophytes and chrysophytes. The presence of predators did not significantly affect the rate at which zebra mussels expelled and excreted phytoplankton, although there was a tendency for more chlorophyll to be expelled and excreted in the presence of predators. Our results contribute to the growing evidence that predators indirectly affect resource dynamics and food web structure through their non-lethal effects on consumers. Our results suggest that exotic species such as zebra mussels can show behavioural responses to both native (e.g., roach) and exotic (e.g., crayfish) predators.

Keywords
Non-lethal effect of predator, Invasive species, Zebra mussel, Feeding rate, Prey selection, Trait-mediated indirect interaction, Phytoplankton community structure, Ecosystem function
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96407 (URN)10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.15695.x (DOI)000248681100004 ()
Available from: 2007-11-14 Created: 2007-11-14 Last updated: 2022-01-28
4. Effects of the zebra mussel, an exotic freshwater species, on seston stoichiometry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of the zebra mussel, an exotic freshwater species, on seston stoichiometry
2008 (English)In: Limnology and Oceanography, ISSN 0024-3590, E-ISSN 1939-5590, Vol. 53, no 5, p. 1973-1987Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We examined the effect of the zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, an exotic species, on seston stoichiometry by conducting laboratory experiments in which we varied nutrient composition of seston and mussels over time. Zebra mussels altered the stoichiometry of seston through removal of particulate organic nutrients and changed the stoichiometry of the dissolved nutrient pool through nutrient excretion. Grazers had stronger effects on carbon : phosphorus (C : P) and nitrogen (N) : P ratios than on the C:N ratio of seston. Elemental residence time in tissue and high mass-specific nutrient excretion by small mussels caused small mussels to be more efficient nutrient recyclers than larger mussels. Zebra mussels reduced P availability through enhancing C: P and N: P molar ratios of seston during the period extending from June to August, when P was limited in the lake, and increased the C:N molar ratio of seston in June, when N was at the minimum level in the lake. C: P and N: P molar ratios for zebra mussel tissue were higher in August and somewhat in September than in all other months. N was retained more efficiently than P in Dreissena tissue. Nutrient mass-specific uptake rate was higher than excretion rate by zebra mussels.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, 2008
National Category
Ecology Fish and Aquacultural Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96408 (URN)10.4319/lo.2008.53.5.1973 (DOI)000259356000024 ()
Available from: 2007-11-14 Created: 2007-11-14 Last updated: 2024-04-25Bibliographically approved

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