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Water 2019, 11(3), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11030459

Behavioral Interactions and Trophic Overlap between Invasive Signal Crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus (Decapoda, Astacidae) and Native Fishes in Iberian Rivers

1
University of Navarra, School of Sciences, Department of Environmental Biology. C/ Irunlarrea 1, E-31080 Pamplona, Spain
2
Departamento de Ciencias Médicas Básicas, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities, Campus de Montepríncipe, E-28925 Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
3
University of Navarra, LICA, C/ Irunlarrea 1, E-31080 Pamplona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 23 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Species Introduction on Aquatic Communities)
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Abstract

The signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus Dana, 1852 is a successful invasive species in the Iberian Peninsula. This is of particular conservation concern, as fish fauna is highly endemic and also threatened within this ecoregion. The aim of this study was to analyze behavioral interactions and trophic overlap between signal crayfish and native fishes in Iberian rivers (northern Spain). Video cameras were used to record fish “dominance/evasion” after spatial encounters with crayfish. Diet composition and isotopic signatures (δ13C and δ15N) were compared to evaluate the niche overlap. Fish were dominant in 25% of the encounters with juvenile crayfish, whereas this percentage was only 4% with adult crayfish. Observations showed a high fish “evasion” response for Pyrenean stone loach Barbatula quignardi (Bǎcescu-Meşter, 1967) (>30%). Dietary results showed a high trophic overlap between signal crayfish with the pelagic Pyrenean minnow Phoxinus bigerri Kottelat, 2007 and the benthic loach. However, the isotopic niche overlap was low, with brown trout Salmo trutta L., 1758 showing the highest area (only 0.1 ‰2). Overall, our findings suggest that interferences may occur with native species for food (i.e., benthic invertebrates). Consequently, measures should be applied to control invasive crayfish in Iberian rivers. View Full-Text
Keywords: aquatic communities; direct/indirect interactions; ecological impacts; species introduction; stable isotope analysis; trophic levels aquatic communities; direct/indirect interactions; ecological impacts; species introduction; stable isotope analysis; trophic levels
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Vedia, I.; Almeida, D.; Rodeles, A.A.; Leunda, P.M.; Baquero, E.; Galicia, D.; Oscoz, J.; Elustondo, D.; Santamaría, J.M.; Miranda, R. Behavioral Interactions and Trophic Overlap between Invasive Signal Crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus (Decapoda, Astacidae) and Native Fishes in Iberian Rivers. Water 2019, 11, 459.

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