Comparison of the functional responses of invasive and native amphipods
While we can usually understand the impacts of invasive species on recipient communities, invasion biology lacks methodologies that are potentially more predictive. Such tools should ideally be straightforward and widely applicable. Here, we explore an approach that compares the functional responses (FRs) of invader and native amphipod crustaceans. Dikerogammarus villosus is a Ponto-Caspian amphipod currently invading Europe and poised to invade North America. Compared with other amphipods that it actively replaces in freshwaters, D. villosus exhibited significantly greater predation, consuming significantly more prey with a higher type II FR. This corroborates the known dramatic field impacts of D. villosus on invaded communities. In another species, FRs were nearly identical in invasive and native ranges. We thus propose that if FRs of other taxa and trophic groups follow such general patterns, this methodology has potential in predicting future invasive species impacts.