Survival, Growth, and Reproduction: Comparison of Marbled Crayfish with Four Prominent Crayfish Invaders
South Bohemian Research Center of Aquaculture and Biodiversity of Hydrocenoses, Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice, Zátiší 728/II, 38925 Vodňany, Czech Republic
Department of River Ecology and Conservation, Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum Frankfurt, Clamecystrasse 12, 63571 Gelnhausen, Germany
Department of Wetland Ecology, Doñana Biological Station (EBD-CSIC), C/Américo Vespucio 26, Isla de la Cartuja, 41092 Seville, Spain
Department of Zoology and Fisheries, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 16500 Prague-Suchdol, Czech Republic
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ettore Randi
Received: 31 March 2021 / Revised: 3 May 2021 / Accepted: 6 May 2021 / Published: 10 May 2021
Biological invasions exert tremendous impacts on native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Invasive crayfish species are well known for their particularly vigorous impacts. Recent research indicated that locations with multiple invasive crayfish species are increasing, yet questions asking which species and under what circumstances will dominate have remained unanswered. Conducting a set of independent trials of single-species stocks (intraspecific interactions) and mixed stocks (interspecific interactions) of marbled crayfish in combination with other four crayfish species invasive to Europe we evaluated survival, growth, claw injury, and reproduction. In both single and mixed stocks, red swamp crayfish and common yabby grew faster than marbled crayfish, while marbled crayfish were superior to both spiny-cheek and signal crayfish in terms of growth. Except for the trial with signal crayfish, the faster-growing species consistently reached a higher survival rate. Thus, the success of the marbled crayfish is significantly driven by its relatively fast growth as well as early and frequent reproduction. Our results indicate how interactions between invasive populations can unfold in the future and underline the complex population dynamics between existing and emerging invasive species.