The red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, is an important ecological pest worldwide. I manipulated P. clarkii density in an enclosure/exclosure experiment in order to determine its impact on periphyton growth and benthic macroinvertebrate community structure. I also used stable isotopes to determine trophic position and possible carbon sources in its diet. Contrary to expectations, P. clarkii showed no impact on either algae growth or benthic macroinvertebrate community structure. Procambarus clarkii also showed stable isotope signatures corresponding to a detrital based diet and a trophic position equal to the filter-feeding freshwater clam, Corbicula. Unrelated to P. clarkii presence, there were community differences between my cage controls and my experimental treatments characterized by reductions in macroinvertebrate diversity and negative associations with predatory taxa. These differences were hypothesized to be caused by other non-native predators in my study sites: Lepomis gibbosus and Lepomis macrochirus.
|Commitee:||Stein, Eric, Whitcraft, Christine|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Community ecology, Ecology, Invasion biology, Procambarus|
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