Diet and trophic niche of the invasive signal crayfish in the first invaded Italian stream ecosystem
Ercoli, F., Ghia, D., Gruppuso, L., Fea, G., Bo, T., & Ruokonen, T. J. (2021). Diet and trophic niche of the invasive signal crayfish in the first invaded Italian stream ecosystem. Scientific Reports, 11, Article 8704. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-88073-2
Published inScientific Reports
© 2021 the Authors
The occurrence of the signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus in the Valla Stream was the first established population of this invasive species recorded in an Italian stream ecosystem. We evaluated the seasonality of diet and trophic niche of invasive signal crayfish in order to estimate the ecological role and effects on native communities of the stream ecosystem. We studied the differences in food source use between sexes, life stages and seasons using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses. To supplement stable isotope analyses, we evaluated food source usage using traditional stomach content analysis. We tested the hypothesis that juveniles have a different diet, showing different trophic niches, compared to adults. Results indicated that signal crayfish adult and juvenile diets mainly rely on macroinvertebrates and periphyton in summer, shifting to mostly periphyton in autumn. Although the two age classes occupied an equivalent trophic niche, juveniles showed slightly different carbon isotope values, suggesting a somewhat ontogenetic shift consistent among seasons. No significant differences were found in adult and juvenile diets between summer and autumn seasons. Our findings suggest that signal crayfish juveniles and adults exhibited seasonal feeding habits, probably due to ecological behaviour rather than food resource availability, and that both are likely to impose similar effects on macroinvertebrate communities in this and similar stream ecosystems. ...
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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Related funder(s)European Commission
The content of the publication reflects only the author’s view. The funder is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Additional information about fundingThis study was supported by the Estonian Research Council, Mobilitas Pluss research project (MOBJD29 to Fabio Ercoli), the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (institutional research funding projects IUT 21-2 to Tiina Nõges), the Estonian University of Life Sciences (research project P190254PKKH to Fabio Ercoli) and the European Union H2020 WIDESPREAD (TREICLAKE 951963). Thanks to Dr. Mark J. McCarthy for revising the English of the manuscript. ...
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