Aquatic Sciences

, 81:21 | Cite as

Interspecific associations between Hydrilla verticillata and three dominant native genera of submerged macrophytes are taxa dependent

  • M. J. SilveiraEmail author
  • S. M. Thomaz
Research Article


Hydrilla verticillata is a submerged macrophyte that has invaded every continent except Antarctica. In this study, we tested the predictions that (i) H. verticillata invades sites with a higher prevalence of native species; (ii) co-occurrences between the invasive and natives depend on their degree of similarity in morphology and resource use and that (iii) native species morphologically similar to H. verticillata decreases in sites colonized by H. verticillata overtime, while occurrences of morphologically dissimilar species increase post-invasion. The incidences of H. verticillata and three taxa of dominant natives were inspected across 87 sites in a reservoir in South Brazil before and after invasion by H. verticillata. The predictions were tested through co-occurrence metrics and logistic regression analyses. The logistic regression indicated that H. verticillata invaded sites independently of the occurrence of dominant natives, but it co-occurred more than expected by chance with the morphologically dissimilar native Characeae species, Nitella sp. and Chara cf. guairensis. On the other hand, Egeria spp. (morphologically similar to H. verticillata) occurrences were not correlated with the presence of H. verticillata. Moreover, the probability of occurrence of Characeae increased significantly overtime in sites invaded by H. verticillata. These results indicate that H. verticillata invaded sites independently of environmental suitability and likely facilitated more dissimilar taxa, such as Characeae, but there was no evidence that it influenced Egeria spp. occurrences. The patches of H. verticillata probably provide favorable habitats for the establishment of Characeae.


Exotic Alien Non-native Facilitation Competition Biotic resistance Biotic acceptance 



The authors thank E.R. Cunha (Universidade Estadual de Maringá) for the fruitful discussions and helping with data analyses. We also thank the Associate Editor and two anonymous reviewers whose comments improved the first version of this paper. S.M. Thomaz is especially thankful to the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for providing continuous funding through a Research Productivity Grant. M.J. Silveira thanks CAPES, an organization of the Brazilian Government for the training of human resources, for providing a PhD scholarship.

Supplementary material

27_2018_614_MOESM1_ESM.doc (472 kb)
Figure S1: The map demonstrates the study areas in the Rosana Reservoir of Brazil investigated and the invaded (●) and non-invaded (○) sites by H. verticillata. We did not use the data of sites inside the square, because H. verticillata was not recorded in this region. Table S1: Results of the multiple regressions logistic using the data of presence/absence of Nitella sp, Chara cf. guairensis and Egeria spp as dependent variables, and the presence/absence (invasion) of H. verticillata, period (pre-invasion and post-invasion) and Secchi disk values as predicting variables. (DOC 472 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nupélia, PEAUniversidade Estadual de Maringá (UEM)MaringáBrazil

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