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|Introduced marine ecosystem engineer indirectly affects parasitism in native mussel hosts|Goedknegt, M.A.; Buschbaum, C.; van der Meer, J.; Wegner, K.M.; Thieltges, D.W. (2020). Introduced marine ecosystem engineer indirectly affects parasitism in native mussel hosts. Biological Invasions 22(11): 3223-3237. https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02318-1
In: Biological Invasions. Springer: London. ISSN 1387-3547; e-ISSN 1573-1464, meer
Trait-mediated indirect effects; Invasive species; Ecosystem engineer; Parasite-host interaction; Renicola roscovita; Mytilicola; Crassostrea gigas; Mytilus edulis
|Auteurs|| || Top |
- Goedknegt, M.A., meer
- Buschbaum, C., meer
- van der Meer, J., meer
- Wegner, K.M.
- Thieltges, D.W., meer
The alteration of habitat structure by introduced ecosystem engineers imposes direct impacts on native biota but can also exert trait-mediated indirect effects. In this study, we show that the habitat structure provided by invasive Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) can also indirectly affect parasitism in native blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). We conducted a 3-month field experiment, in which uninfected mussels were positioned at the bottom and top of two intertidal oyster reefs in the Wadden Sea. On one reef, we detected a significantly higher prevalence of parasitic copepods (Mytilicola spp.) in mussels positioned on top of oysters than in mussels at the bottom, but no difference in infection intensity. For trematodes (Renicola roscovita), a different pattern was observed, with higher prevalence (one reef) and significantly higher infection intensities (both reefs) in mussels positioned at the bottom of the oyster reef. We suggest that the contrasting pattern results from differences in parasite life cycles. Mytilicola spp. larvae spend 2–3 weeks in the water column before infecting their hosts and, therefore, mussels positioned at the top are exposed to higher numbers of planktonic larvae than mussels at the bottom. In contrast, infective trematode larvae spend less than 12 h in the water column and primarily infect mussels during low tide, which may explain higher prevalence and intensity of R. roscovita in mussels near the bottom of the oyster reef. Our results demonstrate that indirect effects leading to alterations of parasite-host interactions may be a more common but hitherto rarely considered impact of biological invasions.