Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes reveal the use of pelagic resources by the invasive Ponto-Caspian mysid Limnomysis benedeni.
The Ponto-Caspian mysid shrimp Limnomysis benedeni has rapidly invaded freshwater systems throughout Europe and is now found in extremely high abundances in invaded systems. However, very little is known about the trophic ecology of this mysid in invaded ecosystems, in particular the relative degree of herbivory, carnivory and detritivory of this potentially omnivorous species and where it derives its energy, i.e. via carbon fixed by algae inhabiting benthic or pelagic habitats or through allochthonous inputs. Here, we investigate the trophic ecology of L. benedeni in a recently established population in North-Western Germany using stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes. Our results suggest that in contrast to its previous classifications as a benthic or bentho-pelagic herbivore, L. benedeni is an omnivorous species, which can derive the bulk of its carbon from pelagic resources. Its trophic niche in different invaded ecosystems will be determined by multiple, system-dependent factors which have to be considered in order to predict the mysids' invasion potential.