23 May 2017

Veselý and colleagues, 2017

Veselý L, Hrbek V, Kozák P, Buřič M, Sousa R, Kouba A. 2017. Salinity tolerance of marbled crayfish Procambarus fallax f. virginalis. Knowledge and Management of Aquatic Ecosystems 418: 21. https://doi.org/10.1051/kmae/2017014


Eastern Europe comprises a significant part of the native ranges for indigenous crayfish species (ICS) belonging to the genus Astacus. This region has been largely overlooked by astacologists and considered relatively immune to the impacts of non-indigenous crayfish species (NICS). The recent discovery of two marbled crayfish Procambarus fallax f. virginalis populations in Ukraine has changed this view. Increased propagule pressure (mainly due to pet trade) has raised concerns of NICS which may negatively impair the ecosystems of Azov, Black and Caspian Seas and their tributaries inhabited by ICS. In this study, we provide the first insight into salinity tolerance of marbled crayfish. We performed a 155-day experiment using 5 different salinities (6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 ppt) and a freshwater control. Evaluation of survival, growth and reproduction suggests that marbled crayfish have a lower salinity tolerance than other crayfish species, which may limit their invasive potential in brackish environments. However, its ability to survive for more than 80 days at 18 ppt opens up the possibility of gradual dispersion and adaptation to brackish conditions. Our study highlights the need for further studies elucidating the potential for marbled crayfish to negatively impair these ecosystems.

Keywords: brackish environment • growth • reproduction • moult • survival