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Ecological roles of crayfish in freshwater and terrestrial habitats


Reynolds, J and Souty-Grosset, C and Richardson, A, Ecological roles of crayfish in freshwater and terrestrial habitats, Freshwater Crayfish, 19, (2) pp. 197-218. ISSN 2076-4324 (2013) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2013 International Association of Astacology

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DOI: doi:10.5869/fc.2013.v19-2.197


Crayfish are the dominant decapods in many freshwater, and even terrestrial, habitats, playing important community roles through their large size, mobility, behaviour and omnivory. Both density and size affect their ecosystem impacts. Many crayfish require a heterogeneous habitat with refuges for survival of different life stages. Life history patterns can be explained in terms of the selective pressures of the habitat and competition. Crayfish may tolerate broad temperature, dissolved oxygen and salinity ranges. Crayfish key roles and attributes in ecosystems include indicators or surrogates for water quality, bioindicators for communities or habitats, keystone controllers of trophic webs and ecological engineers. Protected crayfish may also act as umbrella species for the conservation of communities. Their main habitat templets are cool or warm high quality streams and lakes, warm lower quality wetlands, semi-terrestrial swamps and temporary wetlands (burrowers), and cave ecosystems. In high quality waters, K selection may be a strong driver, while r selection may dominate in lower quality biotopes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:bioindicators, competition, ecological engineers, freshwater crayfish, habitat templets, ICS and NICS, keystone species, r and K
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Ecological applications
Research Field:Ecosystem function
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Richardson, A (Associate Professor Alastair Richardson)
ID Code:89885
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2014-03-18
Last Modified:2017-11-01
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