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Freshwater Crayfish 19(1): 21-27 (2013)


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Recent invasion of the karstic river systems in Croatia through illegal introductions of the signal crayfish

Hudina S, Žganec K, Lucić A, Trgovčić and Maguire I  e-mail link

Published Online: 2/15/2013


The signal crayfish, Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana), is one of the most successful crayfish invaders in Europe. In this study, we report the first evidence of its range expansion into a karstic river in Croatia (Korana River) through deliberate introduction. In order to estimate the extent of this recent invasion and its potential threat to existing native crayfish populations, we examined distributional and population characteristics of signal crayfish in the Korana River. Research showed that the current distribution of signal crayfish in the Korana River is localized within 10 km of its lower reach. The point of introduction was probably at the centre of the invaded area, where the highest catch per unit effort was recorded. Due to the proximity to the confluence with other rivers, the downstream invasion edge represents the most important corridor for further signal crayfish expansion throughout the Sava River Basin. In the invaded area, P. leniusculus is gradually displacing the native Astacus leptodactylus, which was absent from sites with high P. leniusculus abundance, and showed two to ten times lower abundance in mixed populations at both invasion fronts. Spatial analyses demonstrated that two additional native species present in the Korana catchment are under immediate threat from signal crayfish dispersal.

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Hudina S, Žganec K, Lucić A, Trgovčić and Maguire I. (2013). Recent invasion of the karstic river systems in Croatia through illegal introductions of the signal crayfish. Freshwater Crayfish 19(1):21-27. doi: 10.5869/fc.2013.v19.021



Author Information

Sandra  Hudina,* Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, Zagreb, Croatia, Croatia10000. E-mail:

Krešimir  Žganec, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, Zagreb, Croatia, Croatia10000. E-mail:

Andreja  Lucić, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, Zagreb, Croatia, Croatia10000. E-mail:

Krešimira  Trgovčić, None, Project associate, Ivana Meštrovica 1c, Karlovac, Croatia, Croatia47000. E-mail:

Ivana  Maguire, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, Zagreb, Croatia, Croatia10000. E-mail:

Corresponding Author indicated by an *.


Publication History

   Manuscript Submitted: 9/28/2012

   Manuscript Accepted: 1/24/2013

   Published Online: 2/15/2013

   Published in Print: 2/15/2013



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No specific funding statement is available for this article.






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