The success and effects of a biological invasion can be dependent on species interactions with resident competitors and predators. Indirect interactions between competition and predation, such as keystone predation, can influence both invasion success and the impact of an invasive species on resident competitors. The invasive mosquito Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald) has been established within the North American range of the indigenous competitor Aedes triseriatus (Say) and indigenous mosquito predator Toxorhynchites rutilus (Coquillett). The effects of Tx. rutilus predation on competition between Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. triseriatus were tested in laboratory microcosms. Consistent with a prior study, there was minimal evidence of competitive asymmetry between Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. triseriatus, with similar effects of intraspecific versus interspecific interactions on both species. Tx. rutilus predation caused high mortality of both Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. triseriatus, and minimized the effects of density-dependent competition. Ae. japonicus females that survived predation had larger adult body sizes than those in treatments without predators. Ae. triseriatus females that survived Tx. rutilus predation were larger and developed quicker than individuals in treatments without predators. Intraspecific competition and predation negatively affected the finite rate of population increase for Ae. j. japonicus, but only affected individual fitness correlates for Ae. triseriatus, indicating that the overall population performance of the invader ismoresensitive to these interactions than the native species. Based on these results, we predict that predation is likely to be an important barrier to the establishment and spread of Ae. j. japonicus in tree holes in North America.
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Vol. 51 • No. 6