It is widely believed that successful colonization of ecosystems by non-native species will have catastrophic consequences for the recipient system. Within the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, AL, exotic Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) has been reported to trigger degradation of ecosystem structure and function. We evaluated the impacts of structurally complex milfoil on food web structure and predator-prey interactions via comparisons with two native grasses, structurally simple wild celery (Vallisneria americana) and the more complex water stargrass (Heteranthera dubia). While significant differences were not detected in the faunal compositions of milfoil and stargrass habitats, significant differences between milfoil and wild celery were found. Laboratory experiments showed that rainwater killifish, a key contributor to these differences, preferred milfoil over wild celery, but did not occupy milfoil more than stargrass. Subsequent experiments indicated that survivorship was drastically lower in wild celery. Though many of the documented impacts of Eurasian milfoil have been cast as detrimental, shelter-seeking organisms may perceive milfoil in the same way as other complex native species.
Estuaries & Coasts is the journal of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. Begun in 1977 as Chesapeake Science, the journal has gradually expanded its scope and circulation. Today, the journal publishes manuscripts covering aspects of research on physical, chemical, geological or biological systems, as well as management of those systems, at the interface between the land and the sea. The interface is broadly defined to include areas within estuaries, lagoons, wetlands, tidal rivers, watersheds that include estuaries, and near-shore coastal waters. The journal publishes original research findings, reviews, techniques, and comments.
The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation is a private, nonprofit non partisan organization. The Federation was created in 1971, when the members of two older, regionally-based estuarine research societies (AERS and NEERS) decided that a national organization was needed to address estuarine and coastal issues more broadly. The regionally based Affiliate Societies now number seven and encompass all of the coastal regions that border the United States, Canada and Mexico.