Shota Nishijima, Chisato Nishikawa, Tadashi Miyashita


Invasive ecosystem engineers can facilitate their invasions by modifying the physical environment to improve their own performance, but this positive feedback process has rarely been tested empirically except in sessile organisms. The invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii is an ecosystem engineer that destroys aquatic macrophytes, which provide a physical refuge for animal prey, and this destruction is likely to enhance vulnerability to predators. Using two series of mesocosm experiments, we tested the hypothesis that the invasive crayfish increases its feeding efficiency on animal prey by reducing submerged macrophytes, thus increasing its individual growth rate in a positive density-dependent manner.

Paper Information

: BMC Ecology
: 10.1186/s12898-017-0147-7