Presentation Type

Poster

Keywords

behavioral ecology, invasive species, freshwater ecosystems, biodiversity, alarm cues, conservation

Department

Biology

Major

Biology

Abstract

Red Swamp Crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, have caused vast damage to the stream ecosystem of the Santa Monica Mountains, following their invasive introduction. Through their extensive eating habits, high levels of aggression, and responsiveness to environmental stimuli, P. clarkii have a tremendous impact on the success of native species in the Santa Monica Mountains. With exposure to chemical cues, crayfish are able to perceive threats and react accordingly. To determine the extent of such chemoreception, pairs of P. clarkii were tested in the laboratory for conspecific aggression in the presence of native newt, native frog, and conspecific alarm cues. The level of aggression was measured utilizing a scale of 0-6, from acts of non-aggression to highest aggression. The addition of a native frog cue resulted in aggression levels significantly lower than conspecific alarm and native newt cues. Through time point ten, the crayfish in the presence of the alarm cue exhibited a more sustained level of aggression than those in the other treatments.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Lee Kats

Funding Source or Research Program

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

Presentation Session

Session E

Start Date

23-4-2021 2:45 PM

End Date

23-4-2021 3:00 PM

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Apr 23rd, 2:45 PM Apr 23rd, 3:00 PM

Conspecific aggression of invasive crayfish, P. clarkii, in response to chemical cues

Red Swamp Crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, have caused vast damage to the stream ecosystem of the Santa Monica Mountains, following their invasive introduction. Through their extensive eating habits, high levels of aggression, and responsiveness to environmental stimuli, P. clarkii have a tremendous impact on the success of native species in the Santa Monica Mountains. With exposure to chemical cues, crayfish are able to perceive threats and react accordingly. To determine the extent of such chemoreception, pairs of P. clarkii were tested in the laboratory for conspecific aggression in the presence of native newt, native frog, and conspecific alarm cues. The level of aggression was measured utilizing a scale of 0-6, from acts of non-aggression to highest aggression. The addition of a native frog cue resulted in aggression levels significantly lower than conspecific alarm and native newt cues. Through time point ten, the crayfish in the presence of the alarm cue exhibited a more sustained level of aggression than those in the other treatments.