FRESHWATER CRAYFISH | 2008| vol. 16| Research Article
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Full Citation: DiStefano RJ, Herleth-King SS and Imhoff EM (2008). Distribution of the imperiled Meek's crayfish (Orconectes meeki meeki (Faxon)) in the White River drainage of Missouri, USA: Associations with multi-scale environmental variables. Freshwater Crayfish 16: 27-36.
Meek’s crayfish, Orconectes meeki meeki (Faxon), exists only in the White River drainage of Missouri and Arkansas, USA, and is known from only three tributaries to Table Rock Reservoir in one Missouri county. “Critically imperiled” and among the rarest crayfishes in Missouri, its distribution has never been assessed. Study objectives were to estimate the Missouri distribution of O. m. meeki, and identify any associations between crayfish and multi-scale environmental variables. We used a probabilistic method and stratified (by stream order) random design to survey 71 of 223 stream segments in the drainage during 2002 – 2004. The crayfish was detected at six sites, at a rate of 0.08 (+ 0.04, 90% confidence interval). Most locations for O. m. meeki were isolated from each other by the reservoir. Meek’s crayfish typically used cobble/pebble substrate as refuge. It was found at segments with lower elevation, lower substrate embeddedness, lower macrophyte densities, and larger substrate than segments where it was not detected. The crayfish was associated with smaller drainage areas and lower stream connectivity, and all O. m. meeki collection sites had a common dominant geology. Whereas Meek’s crayfish is stable in Arkansas, it remains rare enough to warrant concern about its status in Missouri.
Keywords: conservation status; distribution; habitat; Orconectes meeki meeki
Article Language: English
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