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Response of crayfish to hyporheic water availability and excess sedimentation

March 1, 2015

Crayfish in many headwater streams regularly cope with seasonal drought. However, it is unclear how landscape changes affect the long-term persistence of crayfish populations. We designed two laboratory experiments to investigate the acute effects of common landscape stressors on crayfish: water withdrawal and sedimentation. The first experiment tested the interaction among water withdrawals (four 24-h water reductions of 0, 15, 30, or 45 cm) and two substrate treatments (pebble and cobble) on the burrowing depth of crayfish. The second experiment evaluated the effects of excess fine sediment (three treatments of 0, 45, and 90% sediment) and substrate type (cobble and pebble) on crayfish burrowing depth. Crayfish were able to burrow deeper into the simulated hyporheic zone in cobble substrate when compared to pebble. Crayfish subjected to greater water withdrawals in the pebble treatment were not able to reach the simulated hyporheic zone. Excess fine sediment reduced the depth that crayfish burrowed, regardless of substrate type. Results from this study suggest excess fine sediment may reduce crayfish persistence, particularly when seeking refuge during prolonged dry conditions.

Publication Year 2015
Title Response of crayfish to hyporheic water availability and excess sedimentation
DOI 10.1007/s10750-014-2126-8
Authors Joseph J. Dyer, Thomas A. Worthington, Shannon K. Brewer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Hydrobiologia
Index ID 70148113
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta