Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Lethal and non-lethal effects of an invasive naticid gastropod on the production of a native clam.

Abstract

Predators often affect prey production not only by lethal predation but also by unintentional inhibition of feeding and growth. The present study examined the lethal and non-lethal effects of the invasive naticid Laguncula pulchella on the survival and growth of the prey clam Ruditapes philippinarum in a sandy tidal flat. Cages accommodating 30 clams (10 individuals × 3 size classes of ≤20 mm, 20-30 mm, and >30 mm shell length) and one L. pulchella (approximately 37 mm shell height) per cage were buried in the tidal flat for 10 weeks. Medium sized clams were consumed by predators much more (80.5%) than small (12.2%) and large clams (7.3%). Clams were consumed by L. pulchella at a frequency of 0-2.5 individuals per predator per week. The growth of clams caged with L. pulchella was lower (23, 27, 33, 41, and 57% for clam of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 mm, respectively) than that in control cages (clams without L. pulchella). The clam burial depths did not increase by the presence of predators in a laboratory experiment, indicating that growth suppression was caused by the reduced feeding activity following physical disturbance and/or chemical signals. The results of this study demonstrate that the introduction of L. pulchella reduced the productivity of the commercially important clams not only by lethal predation but also by mere presence.