FRESHWATER CRAYFISH | 2006| vol. 15| Research Article
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Full Citation: LYNAS, J., STOREY, A., ARMSTRONG, K., PRINCE, J. and KNOTT, B. (2006). Invasion by the exotic crayfish, Cherax destructor Clark (Parastacidae), into habitats of local crayfish near Perth, Western Australia. Freshwater Crayfish 15: 176-188.
The yabby, Cherax destructor Clark, was introduced into Western Australia in 1932, when ten yabbies were translocated from Victoria to a farm dam near Narembeen. Following subsequent dispersal, this crayfish now cooccurs with two local species C. quinquecarinatus and C. cainii in river systems in the environs of Perth. Congeneric crayfish may persist in sympatry through microhabitat separation. To elucidate the means for coexistance, microhabitat characteristics of the three species were measured in the Canning River system near Perth. Yabbies were associated with sediments having higher clay content than marron; gilgies occurred in river reaches having higher flow than marron. The distribution of the crayfish within this system displayed a mosaic pattern of sympatric distributions, which would allow for competitive interactions between these species. To investigate one aspect of interactions between the introduced yabby and local crayfish species, laboratory-based sediment competition experiments were performed. Similar-sized yabbies displaced both marron and gilgies from preferred substrates. Superior competitive ability under laboratory conditions was manifested through interference, with yabbies preventing local crayfish species from procuring a limiting resource. This study indicates the potential for the introduced yabby to displace local crayfish species.
Keywords: introduced crayfish; microhabitat separation; competitive exclusion
Article Language: English
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