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Exotic crayfish in a brown water stream: effects on juvenile trout, invertebrates and algae

Stenroth, Patrik LU and Nyström, Per LU (2003) In Freshwater Biology 48(3). p.466-475
Abstract
1. The impact of the introduced omnivorous signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus ) on trout fry, macroinvertebrates and algae was evaluated in a brown water stream in southern Sweden using in situ enclosures. We also examined the gut content of all surviving crayfish in the enclosures. Two crayfish densities in addition to a control without crayfish were used in replicate enclosures (1.26 m(2)) in a 1-month experiment. Additionally, 20 trout fry (Salmo trutta ) were stocked in each enclosure to assess the effects of crayfish on trout survival and growth. 2. Detritus was the most common food item in crayfish guts. Animal fragments were also frequent while algae and macrophytes were scarcer. Crayfish exuviae were found in crayfish guts,... (More)
1. The impact of the introduced omnivorous signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus ) on trout fry, macroinvertebrates and algae was evaluated in a brown water stream in southern Sweden using in situ enclosures. We also examined the gut content of all surviving crayfish in the enclosures. Two crayfish densities in addition to a control without crayfish were used in replicate enclosures (1.26 m(2)) in a 1-month experiment. Additionally, 20 trout fry (Salmo trutta ) were stocked in each enclosure to assess the effects of crayfish on trout survival and growth. 2. Detritus was the most common food item in crayfish guts. Animal fragments were also frequent while algae and macrophytes were scarcer. Crayfish exuviae were found in crayfish guts, but the frequency of cannibalism was low. 3. Trout survival in enclosures was positively related to water velocity but was unaffected by crayfish. 4. Total invertebrate biomass and taxon richness were lower in crayfish treatments. The biomass of all predatory invertebrate taxa was reduced but only three of six non-predatory taxa were reduced in the crayfish treatments. 5. Epiphytic algal biomass (measured as chlorophyll a , on plastic strips) was not related to crayfish density, whereas the biomass of epilithic algae (measured as chlorophyll a ) was enhanced by high water velocity and high crayfish density. The latter was possibly mediated via improved light and nutrient conditions, as active crayfish re-suspend and/or remove detritus and senescent algal cells during periods of low water velocity. 6. We conclude that the introduced signal crayfish may affect stream communities directly and indirectly. Invaded communities will have reduced macroinvertebrate taxon richness and the signal crayfish will replace vulnerable invertebrate predators such as leeches. In streams that transport large amounts of sediment or organic matter, a high density of crayfish is likely to enhance benthic algal production through physical activity rather than via trophic effects. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Freshwater Biology
volume
48
issue
3
pages
466 - 475
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000181027400008
  • scopus:0037333973
ISSN
0046-5070
DOI
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5bd4c2c2-b8c1-4a4c-8f2f-50a680df1b7a (old id 136846)
date added to LUP
2007-06-29 07:51:24
date last changed
2018-06-10 04:32:48
@article{5bd4c2c2-b8c1-4a4c-8f2f-50a680df1b7a,
  abstract     = {1. The impact of the introduced omnivorous signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus ) on trout fry, macroinvertebrates and algae was evaluated in a brown water stream in southern Sweden using in situ enclosures. We also examined the gut content of all surviving crayfish in the enclosures. Two crayfish densities in addition to a control without crayfish were used in replicate enclosures (1.26 m(2)) in a 1-month experiment. Additionally, 20 trout fry (Salmo trutta ) were stocked in each enclosure to assess the effects of crayfish on trout survival and growth. 2. Detritus was the most common food item in crayfish guts. Animal fragments were also frequent while algae and macrophytes were scarcer. Crayfish exuviae were found in crayfish guts, but the frequency of cannibalism was low. 3. Trout survival in enclosures was positively related to water velocity but was unaffected by crayfish. 4. Total invertebrate biomass and taxon richness were lower in crayfish treatments. The biomass of all predatory invertebrate taxa was reduced but only three of six non-predatory taxa were reduced in the crayfish treatments. 5. Epiphytic algal biomass (measured as chlorophyll a , on plastic strips) was not related to crayfish density, whereas the biomass of epilithic algae (measured as chlorophyll a ) was enhanced by high water velocity and high crayfish density. The latter was possibly mediated via improved light and nutrient conditions, as active crayfish re-suspend and/or remove detritus and senescent algal cells during periods of low water velocity. 6. We conclude that the introduced signal crayfish may affect stream communities directly and indirectly. Invaded communities will have reduced macroinvertebrate taxon richness and the signal crayfish will replace vulnerable invertebrate predators such as leeches. In streams that transport large amounts of sediment or organic matter, a high density of crayfish is likely to enhance benthic algal production through physical activity rather than via trophic effects.},
  author       = {Stenroth, Patrik and Nyström, Per},
  issn         = {0046-5070},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {466--475},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Freshwater Biology},
  title        = {Exotic crayfish in a brown water stream: effects on juvenile trout, invertebrates and algae},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2003},
}