, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 525-534

The importance of allochthonous litter input on the biomass of an alien crayfish in farm ponds

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Abstract

To evaluate the effects of allochthonous litter input on the population density of invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in Japanese farm ponds, we analyzed gut contents, stable isotope ratios, and the correlation between crayfish biomass and environmental factors in the ponds. For our correlation analysis, we used Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) corrected for small sample size (AICC) to select appropriate models within the generalized linear model. Allochthonous litter input was the most influential variable affecting crayfish biomass, followed by pond area. Gut content analysis demonstrated a positive correlation between the percentage of litter in the crayfish gut and the amount of litter input into the pond from which animals were collected. Crayfish δ13C became increasingly similar to litter δ13C as litter input into ponds increased. Nitrogen isotope signature analysis suggested that microorganisms attached to litter may contribute to crayfish diet. The above results obtained by three complementary approaches demonstrated an important influence of allochthonous litter input on crayfish biomass in farm ponds. We propose that the appropriate management of surrounding forests may be effective in controlling the abundance of exotic crayfish with minimized impacts on native communities.