Evaluating the effect of American mink, an alien invasive species, on the abundance of a native community: is coexistence possible?

Yolanda Melero, Mireia Plaza, Giulia Santulli, Deli Saavedra , Joaquim Gosàlbez , Jordi Ruiz-Olmo, Santiago Palazón

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Loss of biodiversity due to biological invasions is one of the most critical
issues our society is facing. American mink is one of the most nefarious invasive nonnative species and has major consequences for diversity, ecosystems and economics. A project to evaluate the impact of American mink has been carried out in Catalonia since 2000 under the aegis of regional and national government and a European LIFE programme. In this study, we tested whether temporal variations in the relative abundance of native species were related to American mink. In addition, we compared the abundance of natives before and after mink arrival. Among the competitors spotted genet and European polecat, mink abundance and arrival had a significant negative effect on their populations. However, among black rat and fish prey only three native fish species had a negative temporal relation with the abundance of mink and three fish species showed a significant difference in their abundance before and after mink arrival. The effect of mink was significant among species with a higher niche overlap (polecat and genet versus mink). The persistence and coexistence of the alien and native species seems to depend on heterogeneity, in terms of the based on niche segregation among these species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1795-1809
Number of pages15
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume21
Issue number7
Early online date25 Mar 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • American mink
  • invasive non-native species
  • native species
  • abundance
  • species coexistence
  • persistence

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