“Natural and Anthropogenic Interactions between Freshwater Crabs and Crayfish”
Mon 11 Aug 2014: 2.00pm
DBS Conference Room II (S2 Level 3, Mezzaine)
All are welcome
Abstract – “Freshwater crabs and crayfish are functionally similar decapod crustaceans that are distributed in land waters of every continent except Antarctica. The global distribution of the two groups is to a large extent mutually exclusive, apart from a few areas of overlap (sympatry). Even within the overlapping geographic areas, crabs and crayfish are generally not known to naturally occur syntopically. This seeming spatial separation of species has been attributed to a combination of abiotic and biotic factors.
In recent years, increasing translocation and introduction of freshwater decapods beyond their natural distributional boundaries has resulted in non-indigenous crayfish directly interacting with native crabs and vice versa. This test of the natural segregation of the two taxa, which occupy similar ecological niches roles, presents an opportunity to study the potential interactions between the taxa and disentangle factors driving their distribution patterns. This study applies a variety of approaches to investigate abiotic factors that predict potential distribution of non-indigenous decapods at global and local scales. Behavioural and survival experiments are also applied to determine if current distributional patterns might also (or instead) be driven by biological interactions. Results will not only contribute to our understanding of factors influencing freshwater decapod biogeography, but also inform management strategies regarding control of non-indigenous species.”