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Freshwater Crayfish 12(1): 121-133 (1999)


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Effects of hypoxia on growth and survival of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii

McClain WR  e-mail link

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Dissolved oxygen (DO) is considered one of the most important factors in crayfish aquaculture; however, little is known of the effects of hypoxia on production traits of Procambarus clarkii. This study investigated some of those effects. Three trials were conducted in replicated, 38-l tanks supplied with soil, established vegetation, and pond water to provide micro-habitats that simulated pond culture environments. Juvenile (mean weight: 1.2 g; trial 1) or hatchling (mean weights: 13.5 and 18 mg; trials 2 and 3) crayfish were individually stocked. Planted rice provided the detrital food base. Supplemental aeration was either provided or withheld to establish the level of oxygen exposure. DO in aerated habitats were > 6 mg l-1, and levels in non-aerated containers generally were ? 0.5 mg l-1. Hypoxia reduced survival by 31% and growth by 16% after 12 weeks in trial 1, and survival by 65% and growth by 90% after 6 weeks in trial 2. Average mean weights in trial 3 after 12 weeks were as follows: no supplemental aeration, 6.8 g; aeration 1 day (for 7 h) every other week, 7.4 g; aeration for 6 weeks followed by 6 weeks of non-aeration, 9.7 g; non-aeration for 6 weeks followed by 6 weeks of aeration, 9.1 g; and continuous aeration for 12 weeks, 11.6 g. Survival ranged from 40 to 91% in trial 3. Mean carapace width to height ratios (an index of branchial cavity volume) for crayfish were significantly larger when crayfish were exposed to prolonged hypoxia.

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McClain WR. (1999). Effects of hypoxia on growth and survival of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Freshwater Crayfish 12(1):121-133. doi:



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