ANNUAL ACTIVITY OF THE NOBLE CRAYFISH (ASTACUS ASTACUS) IN THE ORLJAVA RIVER (CROATIA)
We studied the annual activity of the noble crayfish (Astacus astacus) at three sites along the Orljava River, in the continental part of Croatia, between August 2003 and September 2004. Each site represented the typical characteristics of the upper, middle and lower section of the river (5, 24 and 37 km from the spring, respectively). The biggest population size was recorded on the most upstream site, with greatest structural variability of bottom, high biotic index, and the lowest mean water temperature. Males dominated in catch during the whole research period (total sex ratio was 1.77 males: 1 female). The number of caught crayfish fluctuated during the year and their activity was positively correlated with the water temperature. The crayfish catch within the two downstream sites was dramatically lower in the autumn 2004 then the year before. No obvious reason could be found; therefore we concluded that this was probably result of natural fluctuations in population. Males were significantly longer than females on all three sites. Males and females had similar percentages of injuries, mainly on claws and antennae. Crayfish were active during the whole year, even when water temperature was just 1°C. Phases of life cycle (moulting, active cement glands, mating, hatchlings) occurred a month later in our population than in the Northern Europe populations, probably as a consequence of differences in the climate.
Auteurs du document :
M. FALLER, I. MAGUIRE, G. KLOBUČAR
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Mots clés :
Astacus astacus, life cycle, population dynamics, Croatia, Astacus astacus, dynamique de la population, cycle annuel, Croatie