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Ecology. 2010 Mar;91(3):882-90.

Ultraviolet radiation affects invasibility of lake ecosystems by warm-water fish.

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1
Department of Zoology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, USA. tuckera2@muohio.edu

Abstract

Predicting where species invasions will occur remains a substantial challenge in ecology, but identifying factors that ultimately constrain the distribution of potential invaders could facilitate successful prediction. Whereas ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is recognized as an important factor controlling species distribution and community composition, the role of UVR in a habitat invasibility context has not been explored. Here we examine how underwater UVR can regulate warm-water fish invasion. In Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, USA, established populations of exotic bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) are currently limited to turbid, low-UVR embayments. An in situ incubation experiment that manipulated incident UVR exposure of larval bluegill, combined with an assessment of UVR exposure levels in nearshore habitats around Lake Tahoe, demonstrates that UVR can mediate habitat invasibility. Our findings suggest that the susceptibility to invasion by UVR sensitive species may increase in transparent aquatic systems threatened by declining water quality, and they highlight the importance of abiotic factors as regulators of invasion risk in ecosystems.

PMID:
20426345
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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