Freshwater Crayfish 15(1): 166-175 (2006)
PEER REVIEWED RESEARCH ARTICLE
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Comparison of the impact of the freshwater decapod species Austropotamobius pallipes (indigenous) and Procambarus clarkii (non-indigenous), on the submerged vegetation of two Mediterranean wetlands
Various studies indicate that the omnivorous activity of alien freshwater decapod species can drastically reduce submerged aquatic vegetation cover. However, there is little information regarding the impact of native crayfish species on vegetation cover. This paper contributes data for two shallow water systems that have been sampled over the same period of time and using the same methodology, one (Chozas Lake, León) inhabited by the American red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and the other (La Ercina Lake, Asturias) with one of the largest native crayfish populations in the Iberian Peninsula (Austropotamobius pallipes). The data collected show that even at high densities the native A. pallipes is capable of coexisting with submerged macrophyte cover (90% Characeae) whereas the invasion by P. clarkii of a wetland dominated by macrophytes has led, in a brief period of time, to the total elimination of the vegetation cover, critically altering the functioning of the system and the composition of the trophic chain.
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How to Cite
Rodriguez CF, Becares E and Fuertes B. (2006). Comparison of the impact of the freshwater decapod species Austropotamobius pallipes (indigenous) and Procambarus clarkii (non-indigenous), on the submerged vegetation of two Mediterranean wetlands. Freshwater Crayfish 15(1):166-175. doi: 10.5869/fc.2006.v15.166
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