Presentation Type

Poster

Keywords

turbidity pacific tree frog tadpole red swamp crayfish predator prey

Department

Biology

Major

Biology, B.S.

Abstract

The freshwater streams of the Santa Monica Mountains (Los Angeles, CA) have been negatively affected due to increased land modification, fragmentation, and urbanization. These anthropogenic stressors are changing the landscape into a more turbid aquatic environment. The introduction of non-native species such as the Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) has also made it difficult for native species to survive, especially amphibians. This experiment tests the impact of turbidity on the predatory-prey relationships between P. clarkii and a non-declining native amphibian species, the Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla). The survivorship and the ability for P. regilla tadpoles to find cover in the presence of crayfish was measured and compared between aquatic environments with clear and turbid water. Our results show that the effect of a more turbid environment causes tadpoles to have a lower survivorship (p=0.02) and a lower likelihood of using shelter (p=0.15). These results suggest that turbidity that may result from development and land alteration can alter predator prey interactions and benefit invasive species.

Faculty Mentor

Lee Kats

Funding Source or Research Program

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Location

Waves Cafeteria

Start Date

1-4-2016 2:00 PM

End Date

1-4-2016 3:00 PM

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Apr 1st, 2:00 PM Apr 1st, 3:00 PM

The Impact of Turbidity on the Predator-Prey Relationship between Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla) Tadpoles

Waves Cafeteria

The freshwater streams of the Santa Monica Mountains (Los Angeles, CA) have been negatively affected due to increased land modification, fragmentation, and urbanization. These anthropogenic stressors are changing the landscape into a more turbid aquatic environment. The introduction of non-native species such as the Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) has also made it difficult for native species to survive, especially amphibians. This experiment tests the impact of turbidity on the predatory-prey relationships between P. clarkii and a non-declining native amphibian species, the Pacific Tree Frog (Pseudacris regilla). The survivorship and the ability for P. regilla tadpoles to find cover in the presence of crayfish was measured and compared between aquatic environments with clear and turbid water. Our results show that the effect of a more turbid environment causes tadpoles to have a lower survivorship (p=0.02) and a lower likelihood of using shelter (p=0.15). These results suggest that turbidity that may result from development and land alteration can alter predator prey interactions and benefit invasive species.