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POSITIVE INTERSPECIFIC INTERACTIONS BETWEEN SHRIMP AND EPHEMEROPTERA IN A TROPICAL STREAM, PUERTO RICO

Facilitation is a particular type of interspecific interactions where one of the participating species benefits from the presence of the other. Facilitation often aids in maximizing resource utilization by consumers. In tropical coastal and island streams, shrimps are known to have strong interactions with other components of the community. Shrimp feeding activities reduce benthic organic matter, algal and invertebrate biomass, and changes the composition of benthic assemblages. In contrast to other groups, Leptophlebiidae mayflies increase in numbers when shrimp are present, suggesting facilitation between the two groups. The objective of this study was to assess the mechanism by which shrimp activity benefits mayfly nymphs. Field incubated tiles were placed under laboratory conditions, we created two treatments: tiles incubated with and without shrimp. After four days of incubation, we removed shrimps and placed 10 mayfly nymphs. While shrimp significantly decreased chlorophyll and organic matter on tiles, they also enhanced mayfly growth rates. Overall, our study shows that shrimp foraging activities facilitate mayfly access to food resources and potentially increase their population success in tropical streams in Puerto Rico.

Adriana Marcela Forero Céspedes (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Tolima, adrianam@ut.edu.co;


Pablo E. Gutiérrez-Fonseca ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, gutifp@gmail.com;


Alonso Ramirez ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, aramirez@ramirezlab.net;