Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Colonization patterns and impacts of the invasive amphipods Chelicorophium curvispinum and Dikerogammarus villosus in the IJsselmeer area, The Netherlands.

Abstract

During the 1980s, Chelicorophium curvispinum and Dikerogammarus villosus colonized the lakes of the IJsselmeer area in The Netherlands. With the arrival of C. curvispinum the indigenous Apocorophium lacustre retreated to a small, sheltered bay with particular microconditions. The arrival of D. villosus is probably linked to a decrease of Gammarus tigrinus and possibly the disappearance of the gastropod Theodoxus fluviatilis. However, the occurrence of D. villosus may be restricted to stones along the banks of the lakes, and even there, G. tigrinus seems to remain stable at lower population densities. In samples from the beds of Dreissena polymorpha on the bottom of the lakes, D. villosus was virtually absent and densities of C. curvispinum were relatively low. G. tigrinus was here the single gammaridean species. Other changes in densities of invertebrates, like strong decreases in densities of Tricladida, Hirudinea, Asellidae, D. polymorpha and several gastropods, differ in details of timing from the arrival of the invaders, and are at least partly linked to other factors. In the River IJssel, the main source of invaders to the lakes, similar decreases in species abundance followed exceptionally high discharge events, but preceded both a relatively strong decrease of chlorophyll a levels and the arrival of D. villosus. This suggests that this arrival was not a direct cause of the recorded declines, although it may have prevented recovery.