Secondary production and richness of native and non-native macroinvertebrates are driven by human-altered shoreline morphology in a large river.
This study addressed the influence of common shoreline engineering structures (off-bankline revetment, rip rap and wing dike) on richness, biomass and secondary production of native and non-native macroinvertebrates in the navigation channel and near-shore habitats in the Elbe River (Germany). Within the navigation channel, only marginal differences among engineering structures were observed, and non-native species were absent from all samples. At the shoreline, secondary production of non-native species was significantly greater at the rip rap and represented 59% of total secondary production in near-shore habitats. Conversely, secondary production of native species at the shoreline was 9-fold lower at the rip rap and more than twice the rates at the wing dike. Differences in secondary production among engineering structures were attributed to differential distribution of substrate types. Boulder substrates, the dominant substrate type in the rip rap, promoted contributions of non-native species while macrophytes and silt were associated with high contributions of native species at the off-bankline revetment. Our results reveal that the morphological configuration of engineering structures in large rivers not only controls the rate of secondary production for macroinvertebrates but also the contribution of non-native species to total community functioning.