Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Population dynamics of two invasive amphipods in the Southwestern Atlantic: Monocorophium acherusicum and Ericthonius punctatus (Crustacea).

Abstract

Harbours are important sites for the containment and dispersal of invasive species throughout the world, so the study of life history traits of species is important to understand the success of their invasion and their potential effects on the habitat. In recent years several invasive species have been reported in Argentinian harbours; however, studies of the ecology and life history of these species are scarce. We studied the population dynamics and reproductive biology of Monocorophium acherusicum and Ericthonius punctatus, in order to update the published information on the introduced amphipods in Mar del Plata harbour. Both species showed a seasonal pattern characterized by high densities in warmer months, related to the highest reproductive activity and the increase of recruitment in summer and early autumn, and lower densities in the cold season. The sex ratio was always female-biased and the number of eggs carried by females was positively correlated to the size. The present study suggests that both species have colonized Mar del Plata harbour successfully, showing viable populations (cohorts of juveniles, males, females and ovigerous females). This work provides the basis for monitoring the impact generated by introduced amphipods over the existing fauna.