Crayfish arts: an evaluation into the efficacy of artificial refuge traps for monitoring lotic white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) (Decapoda, Astacidae) populations

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White-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) are one of five crayfish species indigenous to Europe, and the only crayfish species to occur in Ireland. With no known invasive species posing a risk, the Irish population is of considerable conservation importance, particularly in a European context. While there are a number of capture techniques described for crayfish population studies, many have a number of limitations associated with them. There is a need therefore to evaluate new and emerging techniques, so as to assess their efficacy for monitoring A. pallipes populations. Artificial refuge traps (ARTs), an alternative passive capture method, were evaluated against three other widely used capture techniques during the summer months of 2015. Results indicate ARTs to be an effective technique for sampling crayfish, and suggest that, in combination with other capture methods, ARTs could depict accurate population structures, and reduce some of the sampling effort and bias associated with crayfish monitoring.

Crustaceana

International Journal of Crustacean Research

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References

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Figures

  • Illustration of one of the artificial refuge traps (ARTs) used in the study (not to scale).

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  • Mean abundance of Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) captured by each technique in: a, the upstream site; and, b, the downstream site. The standard deviation (SD ±), as indicated by the vertical lines, represents the level of variance between each capture session. The mean abundance of individuals captured does not significantly differ between techniques with the same letter (ANOVA, Fisher Post-hoc test).

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  • Sex ratio of Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) captured by each technique, over the three capture sessions combined for: a, the upstream site; and, b, the downstream site.

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  • Carapace length (CL) frequency distribution for Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) captured in: a, the upstream site; and, b, the downstream site. Interval class is 0.9 mm.

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  • Abundance of three size classes of Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858) (Small (<25 mm CL), Medium (25-40 mm CL) and Large (>40 mm CL)) captured by each technique, over the three capture sessions for: a, the upstream site; and, b, the downstream site.

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