Characteristics of native predators are more important than those of alien prey in determining the success of biotic res

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Characteristics of native predators are more important than those of alien prey in determining the success of biotic resistance in marine systems Lisa Skein

. Mhairi E. Alexander

. Tamara B. Robinson

Received: 7 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 November 2020 Ó The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature 2020

Abstract Predator-driven biotic resistance is known to be more effective in marine systems than in terrestrial and freshwater environments. However, there is little consensus about when such resistance can be expected to succeed or fail. Here, we reviewed case studies that investigated interactions between native marine predators and alien prey, with the aim of establishing which characteristics are important in determining the outcome of such interactions. Four potential biotic resistance outcome scenarios were identified, with these scenarios progressing from a state of no resistance to successful resistance, i.e. when an alien species is successfully excluded from the native community. Characteristics of native predators Handling Editor: Te´lesphore Sime-Ngando

Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article ( contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. L. Skein  M. E. Alexander  T. B. Robinson (&) Department of Botany and Zoology, Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, Natural Sciences Building, Private Bag X1, Merriman Avenue, Stellenbosch, Matieland 7602, South Africa e-mail: [email protected]

and alien prey that likely affect the outcome of biotic resistance were identified, and their presence and absence were noted for each case study. The outcome of each native predator–alien prey interaction was assigned to one of the four biotic resistance outcome scenarios, based on the conclusion of the original study. Multivariate statistics were used to examine potential differences in the suites of characteristics typifying each outcome scenario. These characteristics were found to differ significantly among scenarios, with failure of predator-driven biotic resistance occurring in cases where the alien prey typically had high fecundity, high recruitment and substantial dispersal potential. Conversely, successful biotic resistance was related to the characteristics of native predators including high abundance, strong predation pressure on alien prey, coupled with high feeding rates. This research emphasises the need to integrate information from both trophic groups to strengthen predictions about the outcomes of novel predator–prey interactions. Keywords Alien prey  Novel interactions  Predator-driven biotic resistance  Context dependency

M. E. Alexander Institute of Biomedical and Environmental Health Research (IBEHR), School of Health and Life Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, High Street, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK


Aquat Ecol

Introduction The concept of biotic resistance dates back to the influential

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