Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The success of the invasive macrophyte Hydrilla verticillata and its interactions with the native Egeria najas in response to environmental factors and plant abundance in a subtropical reservoir.

Abstract

The invasion success of non-native species depends on a variety of factors, and abiotic characteristics of invasive ranges and their native populations can offer resistance to non-native species establishment. Reservoirs, compared to natural lakes, can facilitate submerged macrophyte invasion because they provide favorable abiotic conditions to macrophyte establishment and development. However, previous colonization of native species can hamper the development of invasive ones through priority effects. In this investigation we used large data-set obtained in the Itaipu Reservoir (Brazil/Paraguay) to assess the relationship between the abundance of the native submerged macrophyte Egeria najas and of the invasive Hydrilla verticillata and water level, littoral slope and Secchi disk depth. We also investigated how the concomitant and previous abundance of both macrophytes correlates. A Bayesian modeling was applied, controlling the effect of spatial-temporal autocorrelation. Our results indicate an important role of water transparency, littoral slope and water level oscillations in a short period of time (30 days) for the temporal dynamics of these species' abundances. Fluctuations of water levels and littoral slope affected H. verticillata to a greater extent than E. najas. In addition, the abundance of each species was related with its own abundance in previous samplings, highlighting the possible importance of habitat suitability, vegetative propagule pressure and resistance structures for population recovery. In low abundances, there was a possible facilitation between both species, while high abundances probably increased competition. The great importance of water level oscillations on these species' abundances indicate that this strategy can be used as management tool.