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Hydrobiologia

, Volume 728, Issue 1, pp 89–101 | Cite as

Rainfall stochasticity controls the distribution of invasive crayfish and its impact on amphibian guilds in Mediterranean temporary waters

  • Carmen Díaz-PaniaguaEmail author
  • Claudia Keller
  • Margarita Florencio
  • Ana C. Andreu
  • Alexandre Portheault
  • Carola Gómez-Rodríguez
  • Ivan Gomez-Mestre
Primary Research Paper

Abstract

Invasive crayfish have severely impacted invaded aquatic ecosystems worldwide. We studied temporal and spatial variation in the range expansion of the red swamp crayfish at one of the first European localities to which it was introduced: Doñana National Park (SW Spain). In contrast to the rapid range expansion witnessed in other areas, this invasive crayfish has not spread across the entire park. Instead, its distribution has expanded during wet periods, but contracted during drought periods. The red swamp crayfish has caused steep amphibian declines in other invaded areas. However, after approximately 35 years of crayfish presence in Doñana National Park, we have yet to detect a reduction in the number or occurrence of amphibian species. Amphibians may thus be protected by the large abundance of temporary ponds in the area, which provides them with an effective refuge network. We show that natural fluctuations in annual rainfall and in the number of ponds filled can temporarily eliminate invasive crayfish from particular areas. This fact should be taken into account when attempting to reduce the impact of crayfish on aquatic communities, intensifying crayfish removal during particularly dry years, when it is most effective.

Keywords

Procambarus clarkii Invasive crayfish Amphibians Temporary wetlands Distribution 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the monitoring team of the Doñana Biological Reserve for providing the crayfish survey data and Isabel Afán (LAST-EBD) for her assistance with map figures. This study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and EU Feder Funds (Project CGL2009-11123/BOS, CGL2012-) and by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Project 158/2010). CK was supported by grants from the Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional—AECI (Spain), the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq, proc. nr. 204322-89 (Brazil) and the Fundación Caja Madrid (Spain) from 1991 to 1999. CGR is funded by the Xunta de Galicia (postdoctoral fellowship POS-A/2012/052).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Díaz-Paniagua
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claudia Keller
    • 1
    • 2
  • Margarita Florencio
    • 1
  • Ana C. Andreu
    • 1
  • Alexandre Portheault
    • 1
  • Carola Gómez-Rodríguez
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ivan Gomez-Mestre
    • 1
  1. 1.Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC)SevillaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia- INPACoordenação de Pesquisas em BiodiversidadeManausBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Zoología, Facultad de BiologíaUniversidad de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  4. 4.Natural History Museum-Life Sciences DepartmentLondonUK

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