Upper Thermal Tolerances of Two Native and One Invasive Crayfish in Missouri, USA
The spread of invasive crayfish requires invaded habitats to be thermally suitable, and differences in thermal tolerances among species could provide thermal refugia for native crayfish affected by the invader. We estimated upper thermal tolerances for the invasive Faxonius hylas and native F. peruncus and F. quadruncus in Missouri, USA, using critical thermal maxima (CTmax) methodology to determine if there were ecologically exploitable differences in estimates among species and if areas within their distributional ranges exceed their thermal maximums. Estimates of CTmax did not differ among species or sexes but differed among groups acclimated to different temperatures. Additionally, crayfish size had a small, yet significant effect on CTmax estimates with smaller crayfish having lower CTmax estimates than larger crayfish. The similarity among CTmax estimates indicates that for at least upper thermal tolerance, areas thermally available to the native species will also be thermally suitable for the invader. We did not observe water temperatures in the field that exceeded CTmax estimates for any species. However, areas within the mainstem St. Francis River did have warming tolerance estimates of less than 5°C, indicating that establishment of the invader in the mainstem could be limited by water temperature.
Westhoff, J., Abdelrahman, H., & Stoeckel, J. (2023). Upper Thermal Tolerances of Two Native and One Invasive Crayfish in Missouri, USA. Freshwater Crayfish, 28 (1), 27-36. https://doi.org/10.5869/FC.2023.V28-1.27