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What drives non-native amphipod distributions in the River Thames? The role of habitat and human activity on species abundance

In: Crustaceana
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Clarke A. Knight 1Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QY, U.K.

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Jocelyne M. R. Hughes 2Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford OX1 2JA, U.K.

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Tim Johns 3Environment Agency, Red Kite House, Howbery Park, Wallingford OX10 8BD, U.K.

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Increasing colonization of non-native amphipod species in the River Thames, United Kingdom, has altered aquatic ecology and called existing management practices into question. We studied the distribution patterns of recent non-native (Dikerogammarus haemobaphes (Eichwald, 1841)), established non-native (Crangonyx pseudogracilis (Bousfield, 1958)), and native amphipod (Gammarus pulex (Linnaeus, 1758)) species, as well as habitat and human influences across 84 sites in the upper Thames catchment. Our findings showed widespread distribution and density of G. pulex relative to D. haemobaphes, suggesting that the full impact of the current spread has yet to be felt since its 2012 introduction. Different habitat utilization patterns are explained through habitat partitioning: both D. haemobaphes and C. pseudogracilis occupied vegetative habitats, not pebble/gravel habitats where the native G. pulex was most often found. The association between D. haemobaphes and boating presence implies that effective biosecurity would be best focused on boat traffic in the Thames and Cherwell rivers.

La colonisation croissante de la Tamise (Royaume Uni), par des espèces d’amphipodes non natives, a altéré l’écologie aquatique et remet en question les pratiques de gestion existantes. Nous avons étudié la distribution de trois espèces: une invasive récente (Dikerogammarus haemobaphes (Eichwald, 1841)), une non native établie (Crangonyx pseudogracilis (Bousfield, 1958)), et un amphipode natif (Gammarus pulex (Linnaeus, 1758)), ainsi que les influences de l’habitat et des humains à travers 84 sites du bassin de la Tamise supérieure. Nos résultats ont montré l’amplitude de la distribution et de la densité de G. pulex par rapport à D. haemobaphes, ce qui suggère que, depuis son introduction en 2012, la pleine répercussion de sa dispersion n’a pas encore été ressentie. Différents modèles d’utilisation de l’habitat sont expliqués par la partition de cet habitat: tant D. haemobaphes que C. pseudogracilis occupent des habitats végétaux, et pas des habitats gravillonneux, où l’espèce native, G. pulex, a été le plus souvent trouvée. L’association entre D. haemobaphes et la présence de bateaux implique qu’une bio-sécurité efficace devrait être mieux centrée sur le trafic des bateaux sur les rivières Tamise et Cherwell.

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