Skip to main content

Freshwater crayfish invasions: former crayfish invader Galician crayfish hands title “invasive” over to new invader spiny-cheek crayfish

Abstract

Biological invasions are a major threat to global biodiversity. Invasive freshwater crayfish in that context are especially prominent for their negative effects on both ecosystem integrity and native crayfish. However, some systems may have supported a crayfish species not originally native to the system without perceivable negative consequences for the ecosystem while other invasive crayfish species may constitute a major threat to ecosystem stability. Here I present an example how two crayfish, the spiny-cheek and the Galician crayfish both by researchers and governmental agencies considered non-native differ in their threats to the native ecosystem. Whereas the spiny-cheek crayfish is a recent potentially disease-transmitting and still spreading invader with high local densities the Galician crayfish might be part of the lake’s fauna since several hundred years, appears in lower densities and is unlikely to be a vector of disease. Therefore, regardless of the Galician crayfish’s actual date of introduction it is thus a rather “old and integrated” invader, which is now being faced and itself potentially threatened by the emergence of a “new and dangerous” invader: the spiny-cheek crayfish. This also exemplifies that in the face of often insufficient scientific information about dates of species introductions care should be taken in postulating species as invasive and dangerous without any form of risk assessment for their impact on the ecosystem.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  • Ackefors HEG (2000) Freshwater crayfish farming technology in the 1990s: a European and global perspective. Fish Fish 1:337–359

    Google Scholar 

  • Ackefors H, Huner JV, Konikov M (1994) Introduction to the general principles of aquaculture. Food Products Press

  • Albrecht H (1982) Das System der europäischen Flusskrebse (Decapoda, Astacidae): Vorschlag und Begründung. Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut 79:187–210

  • Aswani S, Lauer M (2006) Incorporating Fishermen’s local knowledge and behavior into geographical information systems (GIS) for designing marine protected areas in Oceania. Hum Organ 65:81–102

    Google Scholar 

  • Balik I, Çubuk HH, Özkök R, Uysal R (2005) Some biological characteristics of crayfish (Astacus leptodactylus Eschscholtz, 1823) in Lake Eğirdir. Turk J Zool 29:295–300

    Google Scholar 

  • Baran I, Soylu E (1989) Crayfish plague in Turkey. J Fish Dis 12:193–197

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bernot R, Turner A (2001) Predator identity and trait-mediated indirect effects in a littoral food web. Oecologia 129:139–146

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bohl E (1999) Crayfish stock situation in Bavaria (Germany)—attributes threats and chances. Freshw Crayfish 12:765–777

    Google Scholar 

  • Borst A (1978) Mönche am Bodensee 610–1525. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen

  • Bouchard RW (1977) Distribution, systematic status and ecological notes on five poorly known species of crayfishes in Western North America (Decapoda: Astacidae and Cambaridae). Freshw Crayfish 3:409–423

    Google Scholar 

  • Carl J (1920) Décapodes: (écrevisses). Catalogue des Invertébrés de la Suisse Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Genève, 35 pp

  • Colautti RI, MacIsaac HJ (2004) A neutral terminology to define an invasive species. Divers Distrib 10:135–141

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dehus P, Bohl E, Oidtmann B, Keller M (1999) Case studies of alien crayfish in Europe. German conversation strategies for native crayfish species with regard to alien species. In: Gherardi F, Holdich DM (eds) Crayfish in Europe as Alien species—how to make the best of a bad situation?. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam

    Google Scholar 

  • Dorn NJ, Mittelbach GG (1999) More than predator and prey: a review of interactions between fish and crayfish. Vie Mileu 59:229–237

    Google Scholar 

  • Drew JA (2005) Use of traditional ecological knowledge in marine conservation. Conserv Biol 19:1286–1293

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gherardi F, Acquistapace P (2007) Invasive crayfish in Europe: the impact of Procambarus clarkii on the littoral community of a Mediterranean lake. Freshw Biol 52:1249–1259

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gil-Sánchez J, Alba-Tercedor J (2006) The decline of the endangered populations of the native freshwater crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) in southern Spain: it is possible to avoid extinction? Hydrobiologia 559:113–122

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Haertel-Borer SS, Zak D, Eckmann R, Baade U, Hölker F (2005) Population density of the crayfish, Orconectes limosus, in relation to fish and macroinvertebrate densities in a small mesotrophic lake—implications for the lake’s food web. Int Rev Hydrobiol 90:523–533

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Krämer A, Egloff K, Grünenfelder M, Ribi H, Traber H (1990) Verbreitungsatlas der Fische, Neunaugen und Krebse des Kantons Thurgau. Mitteilungen der Thurgauischen naturforschenden Gesellschaft 50:98–103

  • Lodge DM, Taylor CA, Holdich DM, Skurdal J (2000) Nonindigenous crayfishes threaten North American freshwater biodiversity: lessons from Europe. Fisheries 25:7–20

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Loo SE, Keller RP, Leung B (2007) Freshwater invasions: using historical data to analyse spread. Divers Distrib 13:23–32

    Google Scholar 

  • Lopez A, Pierce GJ, Santos MB, Gracia J, Guerra A (2003) Fishery by-catches of marine mammals in Galician waters: results from on-board observations and an interview survey of fishermen. Biol Conserv 11:25–40

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lörtscher M, Clalüna M, Scholl A (1998) Genetic population structure of Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet 1858) (Decapoda: Astacidae) in Switzerland, based on allozyme data. Aquat Sci 60:118–129

    Google Scholar 

  • McCarthy JM, Hein CL, Olden JD, Jake Vander Zanden M (2006) Coupling long-term studies with meta-analysis to investigate impacts of non-native crayfish on zoobenthic communities. Freshw Biol 51:224–235

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Momot WT (1995) Redefining the role of crayfish in aquatic ecosystems. Rev Fish Sci 3:33–63

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mürle U, Ortlepp J, Rey P (2004) Der Bodensee Zustand-Fakten Perspektiven. Bilanz 2004. IGKB International Commission for the Protection of Lake Constance, Bregenz

  • Nentwig W (2002) Pathways in animal invasions. In: Nentwig W (ed) Biological invasions. Ecological Studies, vol 193. Springer, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  • Nyström P (2002) Ecology. In: Holdich DM (ed) Biology of freshwater crayfish. Blackwell Science, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • Nyström P, Brönmark C, Graneli W (1996) Patterns in benthic food webs: a role for omnivorous crayfish? Freshw Biol 36:631–646

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pöckl M, Holdich DM, Pennerstorfer J (2006) Identifying native and alien crayfish species in Europe. European Project Craynet. Melk, Austria

    Google Scholar 

  • Renz M, Breithaupt T (2000) Habitat use of the crayfish Austropotamobius torrentium in small brooks and in Lake Constance, Southern Germany. Bull Fr Pêche Piscic 356:139–154

    Google Scholar 

  • Rodríguez CF, Bécares E, Fernández-Aláez M, Fernández-Aláez C (2005) Loss of diversity and degradation of wetlands as a result of introducing exotic crayfish. Biol Invasions 7:75–85

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schulz HK, Smietana P, Maiwald T, Oidtmann B, Schulz R (2006a) Case studies on the co-occurrence of Astacus astacus (L.) and Orconectes limosus (Raf.): snapshots of a slow displacement. Freshw Crayfish 15:212–219

    Google Scholar 

  • Schulz HK, Smietana P, Schulz R (2006b) Estimating the human impact on populations of the endangered noble crayfish (Astacus astacus L.) in north-western Poland. Aquat Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst 16:223–233

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schweng E (1973) Orconectes limosus in Deutschland insbesondere im Rheingebiet. Freshw Crayfish 1:97–87

    Google Scholar 

  • Simberloff D, Von Holle B (1999) Positive interactions of nonindigenous species: invasional meltdown? Biol Invasions 1:21–32

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spens J (2006) Can historical names & fishers’ knowledge help to reconstruct fish populations in lakes? In: Neis B, Baird I, Haggan N (eds) Fishers’ knowledge. UNESCO, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  • Spitzy R (1979) The prehistoric man as a possible crayfish transplantor. Freshw Crayfish 4:221–226

    Google Scholar 

  • Statzner B, Fièvet E, Champagne J-Y, Morel R, Herouin E (2000) Crayfish as geomorphic agents and ecosystem engineers: biological behavior affects sand and gravel erosion in experimental streams. Limnol Oceanogr 45:1030–1040

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Streissl F, Höldl W (2002) Habitat and shelter requirements of the stone crayfish, Austropotamobius torrentium Schrank. Hydrobiologia 477:195–199

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stucki TP, Romer J (1999) Will Astacus leptodactylus displace Astacus astacus and Austropotamobius torrentium in Lake Ägeri, Switzerland? Aquat Sci 63:477–489

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Swahn JÖ (2004) The cultural history of crayfish. Bull Fr Pêche Piscic 372–373:243–251

    Google Scholar 

  • Taylor CA (2002) Taxonomy and conservation of native crayfish stocks. In: Holdich DM (ed) Biology of freshwater crayfish. Blackwell Science, Oxford

    Google Scholar 

  • van Damme D, Bogutskaya N, Hoffmann RC, Smith C (2007) The introduction of the European bitterling (Rhodeus amarus) to west and central Europe. Fish Fish 8:79–106

    Google Scholar 

  • Vey A, Söderhäll K, Ajaxon R (1983) Susceptibility of Orconectes limosus Raff. to the crayfish plague, Aphanomyces astaci Schikora. Freshw Crayfish 5:284–291

    Google Scholar 

  • von Richental U (2004) Chronik des Constanzer Concils 1414 bis 1418 (Bibliothek des Literarischen Vereins in Stuttgart 158, Richard Buck (ed) 3. Nachdruck der Ausgabe Stuttgart 1882), Hildesheim-Zürich-New York

  • Westman K (2002) Alien crayfish in Europe: negative and positive impacts and interactions with native crayfish. In: Leppäkoski E, Gollasch S, Olenin S (eds) Invasive aquatic species of Europe. Distribution, impacts and management. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank C. Chucholl, M. Hirning, M. Lohr, A. Kunzmann, S. Pittlick, D. Schleuter, C. Schliehe, A. Weber, and many more for their help in the field. I appreciated helpful comments on the manuscript from J.B. Logue. I also thank P. Dehus, R. Eckmann, A. Lunardon, R. Kistler, M. Kugler, P. Rey and all fishermen for invaluable information on crayfish in the lake and P. Fischer for guidance and support. The work was partially funded by the INTERREG III A project ‘Aquatic Neobiota in Lake Constance and its tributaries’.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Philipp Emanuel Hirsch.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hirsch, P.E. Freshwater crayfish invasions: former crayfish invader Galician crayfish hands title “invasive” over to new invader spiny-cheek crayfish. Biol Invasions 11, 515–521 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-008-9267-5

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-008-9267-5

Keywords

  • Astacus leptodactylus
  • Lake Constance
  • Historic introductions
  • Multiple invasions
  • Orconectes limosus
  • Species displacement