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Assessment of burrowing activity and diet comosition of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, in fish-ponds of La Brenne

2011Assessment of burrowing activity and diet composition of the red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, in fish-ponds of La Brenne.MANCHA CISNEROS Maria del Mar (Mexico)mmancha9q@gmail.com
Organisation:University of Poitiers, Poitiers (FR) - Parc Naturel Régional de la Brenne (FR)Supervisor :Catherine Souty-Grosset (UP) & François Pinet (PNRB)
Summary: In 2007, Procambarus clarkii was identified in the Parc Naturel Régional de la Brenne (France) with currently 9 infestation sites. There is a lack of accurate information on the impacts of the invasion in Brenne. This study aimed to quantify such impacts by identifying the factors inducing its burrowing activity and which habitat features make a fish-pond more susceptible to damage by burrowing. Weekly inspections of burrowing activity, density, occupation, location with respect to the banks, and micro-habitat features were carried out in 2 dry fish-ponds for 2 months in spring. P. clarkii seems to seek soil humidity in a dry pond and prefer burrowing on silt substrates. A second objective was to characterize its diet composition by looking at stomach contents of P. clarkii in 3 water-filled ponds. Subjective methods were used to determine the proportion of food items of 4 general categories (detritus, plant material, animal material, and other substrates) in each stomach. Adult P. clarkii seem to prefer detritus and plants over other categories, and preferences of specific items possibly change depending on the fish-pond. A continuation of the work presented here in the Parc’s territory on a more consistent basis is important to fully understanding the situation of the the red swamp crayfish invasion in Brenne.
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