A STUDY ON THE POSSIBLE EFFECT OF TWO CRAYFISH SPECIES ON EPILITHIC ALGAE IN A MOUNTAIN STREAM FROM CENTRAL SPAIN
The effects on epilithic algae of increasing densities of two crayfish species, Austropotamobius italicus and Pacifastacus leniusculus, the latter recently introduced in Spain, have been monitored using riverine enclosures, within a large experimental study on crayfish-macrobenthos interactions in a mountain stream. A 3-month test was carried out for each species using crayfish densities comprising between 0-5 individuals/m2 kept in 1-m2 enclosures. Epilithon was sampled periodically within the enclosures and chlorophyll a, b and c were measured by spectrophotometry. Neither statistically significant positive nor negative effects were observed on algal abundance (Chl concentrations) during the experiments. Both species showed similar responses with time, with no significantly marked trends.