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What traits underpin the successful establishment and spread of the invasive water bug Trichocorixa verticalis verticalis?

AuthorsCarbonell, José Antonio; Millán, Andrés; Green, Andy J. ; Céspedes, Vanessa; Coccia, Cristina ; Velasco, Josefa
Sigara, Alien species
Issue Date2016
CitationHydrobiologia 768: 273- 286 (2016)
AbstractThe introduction of exotic species has a major impact on a wide range of ecosystems, especially in aquatic ecosystems. Trichocorixa v. verticalis (Fieber, 1851), an euryhaline aquatic hemipteran native North America, has occurred as an exotic species in the Iberian Peninsula since at least 1997. In this study, we compared several physiological and biological traits (salinity tolerance of the different developmental stages, thermal tolerance, fecundity, and dispersal ability) in the alien species and three native, syntopic corixidae species (Sigara lateralis, Sigara scripta, and Sigara selecta), to determine which traits may explain its invasion success. Trichocorixa verticalis was the species most resistant to high conductivity at the egg stage, while S. selecta showed the highest halotolerance as adults. The invader had the highest upper thermal limit and a much higher fecundity than Sigara species. Wing morphometry suggested that T. verticalis may be a stronger flier than the native species. Our findings provide an example of how functional and ecological niche interactions among alien and native species can help predict impacts of invasion on aquatic communities.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10750-015-2556-y
issn: 1573-5117
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