STUDIES ON THE WHITE-CLAWED CRAYFISH (AUSTROPOTAMOBIUS PALLIPES) ASSOCIATED WITH MUDDY HABITATS
The white-clawed crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes, is usually found associated with stony habitats containing obvious refuges in the form of gaps between and under rocks, macrophytes and marginal tree roots, particularly in streams and lakes with clear water and little marginal mud. If the banks are composed of suitable material, then they may also construct and live in burrows. However, the white-clawed crayfish is also found to be abundant in streams, rivers, canals and millraces with deep, anoxic mud and with very little aquatic vegetation. Foraging on the surface of mud may be the only way they can obtain sufficient food in the form of macroinvertebrates and decaying plant matter. Where do crayfish live in this restricted habitat? Dewatering such waterways for essential engineering works, such as desilting, bridge and weir repairs, bank reinforcements, and maintenance of outfalls can provide an excellent opportunity to study the available habitat and the crayfish populations, in addition good estimates of population size and age class distribution can be obtained, although, as with other methods, juveniles tend to be underrepresented. A number of case studies will be given to illustrate the fact that white-clawed crayfish are able to colonize muddy habitats in some numbers. The value of retaining trees with their roots hanging into waterways as a refuge for both crayfish and small fish is highlighted.
Auteurs du document :
D. M. HOLDICH, S. PEAY, J. FOSTER, P. D. HILEY, J. H. BRICKLAND
Obtenir le document :
Mots clés :
white-clawed crayfish, size classes, mud, dewatering, surveys, écrevisse à pattes blanches, classes de taille, vaseux, vidange