Indirect trophic interactions with an invasive species affect phenotypic divergence in a top consumer
2013 (English)In: Oecologia, ISSN 0029-8549, E-ISSN 1432-1939, Vol. 172, no 1, 245-256 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
While phenotypic responses to direct species interactions are well studied, we know little about the consequences of indirect interactions for phenotypic divergence.In this study we used lakes with and without the zebra mussel to investigate effects ofindirect trophic interactions on phenotypic divergence between littoral and pelagic perch. We found a greater phenotypic divergence between littoral and pelagic individuals inlakes with zebra mussels and propose a mussel-mediated increase in pelagic and benthic resource availability as a major factor underlying this divergence. Lakes withzebra mussels contained higher densities of large plankton taxa and large invertebrates. We suggest that this augmented resource availability improved perch foraging opportunities in both the littoral and pelagic zones. Perch in both habitats could hence express a more specialized foraging morphology, leading to an increased divergence of perch forms in lakes with zebra mussels. As perch do not prey on mussels directly, we conclude that the increased divergence results from indirect interactions with the mussels. Our results hence suggest that species at lower food web levels can indirectlyaffect phenotypic divergence in species at the top of the food chain.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 172, no 1, 245-256 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-158687DOI: 10.1007/s00442-013-2611-1ISI: 000317686800022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-158687DiVA: diva2:440761