Ecosystem engineers are agencies that create, modify or maintain habitats (or micro-hábitats) causing a change in the physical state of biotic and abiotic materials that modulate, directly or indirectly, the availability of resources for other species (Jones et al. 1997). As a result, they often have effects on other members of the biota and their interactions and consequently global ecosystem processes. Ecosystem engineering is "the creation, modification and maintenance of Habitat (micro-hábitats) in charge of bodies" (Gutierrez et to the. 2003).The ecosystem engineering concept interconnects a number of important ecological and evolutionary concepts and is particularly relevant to environmental management (Gutiérrez and Jones, 2008). Based on such concepts, and on the fact that invaders that will have the largest impacts are those that directly modify ecosystems and thus have cascading effects for the resident biota (Crooks, 2002), this contribution reports L. fortunei as an important ecosystem engineer in freshwater systems. Although little is still known about its biology and interactions, it is estimated that – like D. polymorpha in the northern Hemisphere (Karatayev et al., 2007) – this species aggregates into beds, thus modifying the nature and complexity of the substrate in a way similar to its marine related taxa (Borthagaray and Carranza, 2007). Upon invading the Plata basin, the golden mussel had an impact on different communities, altering the composition of the benthic fauna (Darrigran et al., 1998; Sylvester et al., 2007; Sardiña et al., 2008), predator diets (Penchaszadeh et al., 2000; García and Protogino, 2005; Sylvester et al., 2007), and physical conditions of the soil and water column (Sylvester et al., 2005, 2006).
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