Suncica Avlijas

McGill University
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Tony Ricciardi
Start: 2009-09-01
End: 2013-02-01
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The distribution and abundance of an invasive shrimp in a large river in relation to physicochemical factors
The freshwater shrimp Hemimysis anomala is a recent Ponto-Caspian invader of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River basin. Based on its invasion history, high predation rate and the naiveté of the ecosystems in which it has been introduced, it has the potential to exert strong impacts on native food webs. Risk assessment and effective monitoring of the spread of this invader require information about the environmental factors that limit its local abundance and distribution. A literature review suggests that H. anomala has broad environmental tolerances but may be limited by low water conductivity levels, high local flow, and low dissolved oxygen. My project produced an empirical model derived from results of a field study in the St. Lawrence River. The model identified specific conductivity and shoreline heterogeneity as important predictors of H. anomala occurrence and abundance across sites. The relationship between conductivity and H. anomala occurrence is further supported by experiments I conducted which demonstrate lower functional responses at lower conductivity levels.


aqatic invasive invertebrate, abundance and distribution, Hemimysis anomala, Espèces envahissantes


1- Ecological impacts of an invasive predator explained and predicted by comparative functional responses
Dick, Jaimie T. A., Kevin Gallagher, Suncica Avlijas, Hazel C. Clarke, Susan E. Lewis, Sally Leung, Dan Minchin, Joe Caffrey, Mhairi E. Alexander, Cathy Maguire, Chris Harrod, Neil Reid, Neal R. Haddaway, Keith D. Farnsworth, Marcin Penk, Anthony Ricciardi
2012 Biological Invasions

2- Forecasting the ecological impacts of the Hemimysis anomala invasion in North America: Lessons from other freshwater mysid introductions
Ricciardi, Anthony, Suncica Avlijas, Jérôme Marty
2012 Journal of Great Lakes Research