La estructura física de un cirripedio invasor influye los ensambles de macroinvertebrados

La estructura física de un cirripedio invasor influye los ensambles de macroinvertebrados

Maria M. Mendez, Alejandro Bortolus, Evangelina Schwindt

Resumen


Para asentarse y evitar la depredación y la desecación, muchas especies de invertebrados usan los microhábitats que generan los cirripedios. En la Argentina, el cirripedio acorazado invasor Balanus glandula no sólo coloniza las costas rocosas; también ha invadido con éxito marismas de fondos blandos, donde forma grandes estructuras tridimensionales que facilitan la presencia de otros invertebrados. Esto afecta la estructura de la comunidad. Se colocaron cirripedios artificiales en una marisma de la Patagonia para imitar la estructura física de los agregados naturales. El experimento incluyó controles naturales y de materiales, y dos niveles de complejidad estructural que representaron la variedad de los agregados que se encuentran en la naturaleza: a) agregados con espacios vacíos internos y galerías entre los cirripedios, y b) agregados sin espacios y galerías. Después de nueve meses, el ensamble de macroinvertebrados se comparó entre tratamientos. La composición del ensamble fue significativamente diferente entre los tratamientos artificiales y las parcelas control, pero no hubo efecto de los cirripedios artificiales sobre la riqueza y diversidad de macroinvertebrados. Esto sugiere que la estructura física de B. glandula podría explicar el efecto ejercido sobre la comunidad. Por otra parte, se registraron reclutamiento de B. glandula sobre los cirripedios artificiales, lo que resalta la importancia que la estructura física de esta especie tendría sobre su persistencia en las marismas de fondos blandos.

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