Advertisement

Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 91, Issue 7, pp 342–345 | Cite as

Factors inducing the intense burrowing activity of the red-swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, an invasive species

  • Silvia Barbaresi
  • Elena Tricarico
  • Francesca GherardiEmail author
Short Communication

Abstract

The burrowing activity of the invasive red-swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, was studied along a 25-m-long transect in an irrigation ditch system in Italy. Our objective was to understand the factors inducing this species’ intense digging, which can result in bank collapse and consequently in severe damage to both agricultural fields and natural ecosystems. Burrow morphology and position, together with their occupancy by crayfish and digging, were recorded once every 6 h for 10 consecutive days. The majority of burrows were simple, although a few had a chimney and were constructed at a farther distance from the water surface than simple burrows. Burrow occupancy and digging, together with their plugged/unplugged status, were constant throughout a 24-h cycle and were not related to any abiotic parameter of the habitat. Crayfish occupied and dug a burrow for a relatively short time (6 h on average). Once abandoned, old burrows were rarely reoccupied and often collapsed, while crayfish excavated new ones. As a result, the overall number of burrows increased. This massive use of banks by P. clarkii seems to be related to soil composition and humidity, which favour crayfish digging but also cause the easy collapse of burrows.

Keywords

Soil Composition Dissolve Oxygen Content Evaporative Water Loss Abiotic Parameter Burrow Density 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Anastácio PM, Marques JC (1997) Crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, effects on initial stages of rice growth in the lower Mondego River Valley (Portugal). Freshw Crayfish 11:608–617Google Scholar
  2. Angeler DG, Sanchez-Carillo S, Garcìa G, Alvarez-Cobelas M (2001) The influence of Procambarus clarkii (Decapoda: Cambaridae) on water quality and sediment characteristics in Spanish floodplain wetland. Hydrobiologia 464:89–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Correia AM, Ferreira O (1995) Burrowing behavior of the introduced red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Decapoda: Cambaridae) in Portugal. J Crustac Biol 15:248–257Google Scholar
  4. Gherardi F (2001) Behaviour. In: Holdich DM (ed) Biology of freshwater crayfish. Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp 258–290Google Scholar
  5. Gherardi F, Barbaresi S (2000) Invasive crayfish: activity patterns of Procambarus clarkii in the rice fields of the lower Guadalquivir (Spain). Arch Hydrobiol 150:153–168Google Scholar
  6. Gherardi F, Barbaresi S, Salvi G (2000a) Spatial and temporal patterns in the movement of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, an invasive crayfish. Aquat Sci 62:179–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gherardi F, Raddi A, Barbaresi S, Salvi G (2000b) Life history patterns of the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in an irrigation ditch in Tuscany, Italy. Crustac Issues 12:99–108Google Scholar
  8. Gherardi F, Tricarico E, Ilhéu M (2002) Movement patterns of the invasive crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, in a temporary stream of southern Portugal. Ethol Ecol Evol 14:183–197Google Scholar
  9. Grow L (1982) Burrowing/soil-texture relationships in the crayfish Cambarus diogenes diogenes Girard (Decapoda, Astacidae). Crustaceana 42:150–159Google Scholar
  10. Grow L, Merchant H (1979) The burrow habitat of the crayfish, Cambarus diogenes diogenes (Girard). Am Midl Nat 103:231–237Google Scholar
  11. Hobbs HH, Whiteman DM (1991) Notes on the burrows, behavior, and color of the crayfish Fallicambarus (F.) devastator (Decapoda: Cambaridae). Southwest Nat 36:127–135Google Scholar
  12. Hobbs HH, Jass JP, Huner JV (1989) A review of global crayfish introductions with particular emphasis on two North American species (Decapoda: Cambaridae). Crustaceana 56:299–316Google Scholar
  13. Huner JV (1977) Introductions of the Louisiana red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii (Girard): an update. Freshw Crayfish 3:193–202Google Scholar
  14. Huner JV, Barr JE (1991) Red swamp crayfish: biology and exploitation, 3rd edn. Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, Centre for Wetland Resources, Louisiana State University, Baton RougeGoogle Scholar
  15. Ilhéu M, Acquistapace P, Benvenuto C, Gherardi F (2003) Burrowing of the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in a temporary stream of south Portugal. Arch Hydrobiol 157:535–546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jaspers E, Avault JW Jr (1969) Environmental conditions in burrows and ponds of the red swamp crawfish, Procambarus clarkii (Girard), near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Proc Annu Conf Southeast Assoc Game Fish Comm 23:634–647Google Scholar
  17. Jones CG, Lawton JH, Shachak M (1997) Positive and negative effects of organisms as physical ecosystem engineers. Ecology 78:1946–1957Google Scholar
  18. Siegel S, Castellan NJ Jr (1988) Nonparametric statistics for the behavioural sciences. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  19. Wentworth CK (1922) A scale of grade and class terms for clastic sediments. J Geol 30:377–392Google Scholar
  20. Williams DD, Williams NE, Hynes HBN (1974) Observations on the life history and burrow construction of the crayfish Cambarus fodiens (Cottle) in a temporary stream in southern Ontario. Can J Zool 52:365–370Google Scholar
  21. Zar JH (1984) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Barbaresi
    • 1
  • Elena Tricarico
    • 1
  • Francesca Gherardi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e GeneticaUniversità di FirenzeFlorenceItaly

Personalised recommendations