Can Daphnia lumholtzi invade European lakes?

Meike Wittmann, Wilfried Gabriel, Eva-Maria Harz, Christian Laforsch, Jonathan Jeschke
2013 NeoBiota  
The cladoceran Daphnia lumholtzi is a subtropical and tropical zooplankter, and an invasive species in North America. Thus far, D. lumholtzi has not been detected in Europe. Here we investigated whether a hypothetical introduction to Europe could result in a successful invasion, either now or in the near future when facilitated by climate change. In laboratory experiments, we tested whether different clones of D. lumholtzi can invade a resident community consisting of native Daphnia from lake
more » ... Daphnia from lake Klostersee, Germany, and how invasion success depends on temperature and the presence or absence of planktivorous fish. In some treatments, invasion success was consistently high, and D. lumholtzi reached densities similar to the native competitors by the end of the experiment. The presence of a planktivorous fish reduced the invasion success of D. lumholtzi, and a clone with an inducible defense against fish predation was a more successful invader than a permanently defended clone. Of the three temperatures tested in this study (15, 20, and 24 °C), invasion success was highest at 20 °C. To understand the competitive interaction between native and introduced Daphnia, we fit a Lotka-Volterra-type competition model to the population dynamics. Our experimental and modeling results suggest that D. lumholtzi can invade European lakes and can cause substantial declines in the population size of native Daphnia, with potential consequences for higher trophic levels.
doi:10.3897/neobiota.16.3615 fatcat:kecc4tmhlndgnbg36jsixz545a