Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

High trophic niche overlap between a native and invasive mink does not drive trophic displacement of the native mink during an invasion process.

Abstract

The pressure elicited by invasive species on native species significantly increases with the increase of the overlap of their ecological niches. Still, the specific mechanisms of the trophic displacement of native species during the invasion process are unclear. The effects of the invasive American mink (Neovison vison) on the critically endangered European mink (Mustela lutreola) was assessed by analyses of diet and niche overlap during the invasion process. To do this, the isotopic composition (δ13C and δ15N) of both species of mink and their four main types of prey was analysed. Significant trophic overlap between the native European mink and invasive American mink was found when they coexisted in sympatry. Furthermore, both mink species were characterised by significant individual variation in diet and no obvious change in diet of the native species in response to the arrival of the introduced species was observed. High niche overlap registered between both species in sympatry with no displacement in diet of the native mink in response to the arrival of the invasive mink is expected to have important consequences for the viability and conservation of the native mink populations, as it suggests high competitive pressure.