Effects of introduced crayfish on selected native fishes of Arizona

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/284145
Title:
Effects of introduced crayfish on selected native fishes of Arizona
Author:
Carpenter, Jeanette, 1960-
Issue Date:
2000
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis), an aggressive polytrophic species, has been introduced into many Arizona streams. I investigated competition and predation between this crayfish and several native Arizona fishes. I conducted field experiments to assess competition for food between crayfish and fish, and laboratory experiments to examine competition for shelter and food, and predation. In Sabino Creek, I manipulated crayfish densities in isolated pools to examine effects of crayfish on growth, mortality, and recruitment of Gila chub (Gila intermedia). Regardless of crayfish density, Gila chub declined slightly in weight and condition. Mortality and recruitment did not differ between densities of crayfish. I examined crayfish effects on benthic macroinvertebrates, a submerged aquatic macrophyte and associated invertebrates, and three fish species in a small stream in the White Mountains by fencing eight stream sections to prevent movement. The three fishes were speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus), Sonora sucker (Catostomus insignis), and desert sucker (C. clarki). Molluscs > 10 mm and macrophytes were less abundant at sites with a high density of crayfish than at sites with low crayfish densities. Insect diversity was lower in high- vs. low-density sites. No treatment effect was observed on growth or condition of individually marked fish. Short-term laboratory experiments demonstrated predatory interactions and competition for shelter between crayfish and Gila chub, desert sucker, and speckled dace. Crayfish used shelter more than fish, displaced fish from shelter, and frequently attacked fish. Fish never attacked crayfish, and only once displaced crayfish from shelter. In predation experiments, crayfish preyed upon all species, but preyed most heavily upon desert suckers. Fish never altered use of the water column in the presence of crayfish. Density manipulation experiments in a laboratory measured food competition between crayfish and two native fishes. Growth of Gila chub was less affected by crayfish than by increased density of Gila chub. Thus crayfish are not strong competitors with Gila chub for food. However, growth of flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis) was negatively impacted by presence of crayfish. These laboratory experiments provide evidence that introduced crayfish can reduce fish growth by competition for food, and that native fishes are vulnerable to crayfish predation.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Biology, Ecology.; Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Renewable Natural Resources
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
McIvor, Carole C.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_US
dc.titleEffects of introduced crayfish on selected native fishes of Arizonaen_US
dc.creatorCarpenter, Jeanette, 1960-en_US
dc.contributor.authorCarpenter, Jeanette, 1960-en_US
dc.date.issued2000en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe virile crayfish (Orconectes virilis), an aggressive polytrophic species, has been introduced into many Arizona streams. I investigated competition and predation between this crayfish and several native Arizona fishes. I conducted field experiments to assess competition for food between crayfish and fish, and laboratory experiments to examine competition for shelter and food, and predation. In Sabino Creek, I manipulated crayfish densities in isolated pools to examine effects of crayfish on growth, mortality, and recruitment of Gila chub (Gila intermedia). Regardless of crayfish density, Gila chub declined slightly in weight and condition. Mortality and recruitment did not differ between densities of crayfish. I examined crayfish effects on benthic macroinvertebrates, a submerged aquatic macrophyte and associated invertebrates, and three fish species in a small stream in the White Mountains by fencing eight stream sections to prevent movement. The three fishes were speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus), Sonora sucker (Catostomus insignis), and desert sucker (C. clarki). Molluscs > 10 mm and macrophytes were less abundant at sites with a high density of crayfish than at sites with low crayfish densities. Insect diversity was lower in high- vs. low-density sites. No treatment effect was observed on growth or condition of individually marked fish. Short-term laboratory experiments demonstrated predatory interactions and competition for shelter between crayfish and Gila chub, desert sucker, and speckled dace. Crayfish used shelter more than fish, displaced fish from shelter, and frequently attacked fish. Fish never attacked crayfish, and only once displaced crayfish from shelter. In predation experiments, crayfish preyed upon all species, but preyed most heavily upon desert suckers. Fish never altered use of the water column in the presence of crayfish. Density manipulation experiments in a laboratory measured food competition between crayfish and two native fishes. Growth of Gila chub was less affected by crayfish than by increased density of Gila chub. Thus crayfish are not strong competitors with Gila chub for food. However, growth of flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis) was negatively impacted by presence of crayfish. These laboratory experiments provide evidence that introduced crayfish can reduce fish growth by competition for food, and that native fishes are vulnerable to crayfish predation.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectBiology, Ecology.en_US
dc.subjectAgriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineRenewable Natural Resourcesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorMcIvor, Carole C.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9972082en_US
dc.identifier.bibrecord.b40638352en_US
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