Physiological performance of native and invasive crayfish species in a changing environment: Insights from Dynamic Energy Budget models

Nina Marn, Sandra Hudina, Ines Haberle, Ana Dobrović, Tin Klanjšček

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Crayfish are keystone species important for maintaining healthy freshwater ecosystems. Crayfish species native to Europe, such as Astacus astacus and Austropotamobius torrentium, are facing decline and are increasingly endangered by changing climate and invasions of non-native crayfish, such as Pacifastacus leniusculus and Procambarus virginalis. The success of these invasions largely depends on differences in ontogeny between the native species and the invaders and how changes in the environment will affect the ontogeny. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models can be used to investigate such differences because the models capture dependence of metabolism, and therefore ontogeny, on environmental conditions. We develop DEB models for all four species and investigate key elements of ontogeny and metabolism affecting interspecific competition. We then use the DEB models to predict individual growth and reproduction in current and new conditions that are expected to arise from climate change. Although observations suggest that P. leniusculus poses the major threat to native species, our analysis identifies P. virginalis, in spite of its smaller size, as the superior competitor by a large margin- A t least when considering metabolism and ontogeny. Our simulations show that climate change is set to increase the competitive edge of P. virginalis even further. Given the prospects of P. virginalis dominance, especially when considering that it is able to withstand and spread at least some crayfish plague strains that severely affect native species, additional research into P. virginalis is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbercoac031
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalConservation Physiology
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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