Chong, C.T., S.T. Larned, A.P. Covich and R.A. Kinzie III. 2000. Species interactions between estuarine detritivores: inhibition or facilitation? Hydrobiologia 434:11-16.
Native Hawaiian estuarine detritivores; the prawn Macrobrachium grandimanus, and the neritid gastropod Neritina vespertina, were maintained in flow-through microcosms with conditioned leaves from two riparian tree species, Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus) and guava (Psidium guajava). Their ability to break down leaf detritus was determined when alone and when they were together. In single-species treatments, N. vespertina processed leaves from both trees at higher rates than M. grandimanus, but in combined treatments, facilitation occurred when the substrate consisted of Hau leaves, and interference occurred when the substrate consisted of guava leaves. From this, we conclude that whether detritivore species are functionally redundant, facilitating or inhibiting in their processing of detritus depends not only on the detritivore species, but also on the species composition of the detritus food source.