Freshwater Crayfish 19(2): 125-136 (2013)
PEER REVIEWED RESEARCH ARTICLE
Biotic and Abiotic Influences on Population Characteristics of Procambarus clarkii in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana
Crayfish harvested from the Atchafalaya River Basin (ARB) comprise the majority of Louisiana wild crayfish landings. However, other than annual flooding influences, it is difficult to elucidate inter-annual harvest differences and intra-annual population variability among habitats. This research investigated biotic and abiotic effects on populations of red swamp crawfish, Procambarus clarkii, at 16 locations in the southeastern ARB that were sampled semi-monthly during the 2008 and 2009 crayfish seasons. Procambarus clarkii catch per unit effort (CPUE) increased nearly 600% between years despite similar hydrologic regimes, physicochemical conditions, and littoral macrophyte densities. Increased allochthonous inputs, near anoxic conditions, and reduced fish predation associated with the passage of Hurricane Gustav over the ARB on 1 September 2008 likely contributed to the increased P. clarkii CPUE observed during 2009, and decreased crayfish size. Reduced size in 2009 indicated density-dependent growth, which was evident in a significant negative correlation between CPUE and carapace length. Procambarus clarkii exhibited trends of lower CPUE and reduced carapace length in habitats subject to chronic sub-optimal water quality.
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How to Cite
Bonvillain CP, Rutherford DA, Kelso WE and Murphy CE. (2013). Biotic and Abiotic Influences on Population Characteristics of Procambarus clarkii in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Louisiana. Freshwater Crayfish 19(2):125-136. doi: 10.5869/fc.2013.v19-2.125.
Bonvillain CP, Rutherford DA, Kelso WE and Murphy CE