The enemy release hypothesis may contribute to explain the invasion success of Marenzelleria arctia (Polychaeta) in the Baltic Sea
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
The invasive genus Marenzelleria spp. was introduced into the Baltic Sea during the 1980’s, and currently, three species of Marenzelleria are present in the Baltic Sea. Since its introduction, the genus has become wide-spread and abundant across the whole Baltic Sea and in deeper soft-bottoms, the species Marenzelleria arctia has established itself very successfully. Several hypotheses for the success of this introduced species have been suggested, e.g. better tolerance to pollutants and poor oxygen conditions, superior competitive ability for resources and low predation pressure from native predators. A predation experiment with several species of Baltic Sea deposit feeders as prey, including the non-indigenous M. arctia, was performed. The three major invertebrate predators in the area were used in the experiment, the isopod Saduria entomon, the priapulid Halicryptus spinulosus and the polychaete Bylgides sarsi. The results show that due to its ability to bury deeper than native fauna, M. arctia is well protected from the native invertebrate predators. Thus, the enemy release hypothesis may help explain the invasion success of M. arctia in addition to its utilization of a previously empty niche. Furthermore, a conceptual model over the main community interactions in Baltic Sea soft-bottoms after the introduction of M. arctia is presented.
Invasive species, Enemy release, Predation, Baltic Sea, Benthic food-web interactions, Sediment, Marenzelleria
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38892OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-38892DiVA: diva2:317279