Navigation Links
Carp dominate crayfish in invasive species battleground

Louisiana red swamp crayfish and common carp are two of the most invasive species on the planet yet how they interact has only recently been revealed by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

The study, published in the online journal PLoS ONE, investigated the interaction between the crayfish and carp in Kenya's Lake Naivasha between 2001 and 2008.

The crayfish were introduced to the Lake in the 1970s and have adopted a central role in the food web for more than 30 years, yet the carp, introduced a little more than a decade ago, appear to have driven the crayfish away.

Lead author Dr Jonathan Grey from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences said: "We first noticed the carp in our nets in 2003; by 2006 it was the dominant fish species in the Lake and at the end of our research in 2008, carp completely dominated the system.

"Although the carp have been fantastic for the local community's commercial fishing industry, it's been to the detriment of the crayfish."

The aim of the study was to see how the carp and Louisiana red swamp crayfish interacted between one another in Lake Naivasha, a large scale natural experiment which would help ecologists understand and predict changes in ecosystems with successive invaders.

Dr Grey said: "The movement of organisms around the globe is an important aspect of human-mediated environmental change.

"Classical studies have tended to focus on the effects of an invasive species on a native species; of course the reality is that many ecosystems will receive multiple invaders which will interact not only with the recipient community but also with each other."

Many interactions between existing and introduced species are realised through diet so the research team used a natural chemical signal of diet in the species' tissues to determine how they react to each other, a technique called stable isotope analysis.

"Because the signal reflects diet over space and time, our approach offers an appropriate scale for the study of population niches, the 'space' that a species occupies in a food web.

"Carp and crayfish eat the same types of food from the lake bed if they are not in conflict however with the carp's population increase the crayfish were forced to eat a lower quality diet, including hippo dung.

"The dietary niche of the crayfish has been squeezed to such an extent that it is now almost impossible to catch crayfish in the Lake anymore."

Lake Naivasha is extremely important to the local community and the wider economy of Kenya because of its large volume of freshwater both for drinking and floriculture, and the commercial fishery industry. Yet it has been the subject of a catalogue of ecological errors from species introductions over the last 100 years which affect its ability to provide ecosystem goods and services.

"The Lake provides such an important resource for the local community. We know that the influx of carp has helped commercial fishing in the area but with its continual dominance we don't know to what extent it will affect the lake's water quality and the wider ecosystem on which the thriving floriculture and agriculture industries rely," Dr Grey said.


Contact: Bridget Dempsey
Queen Mary, University of London

Related biology news :

1. Study: Oil speculators dominate open interest in oil futures
2. Brown and beige dominate the plate: Daily dose of color needed to fill Americas phytonutrient gap
3. How did flowering plants evolve to dominate Earth?
4. Home and away: How do invasive plant species dominate native species?
5. Crafty Australian crayfish cheat
6. Researchers discover giant crayfish species right under their noses
7. Frost & Sullivan Recognizes AOptix Technologies for its Pioneering Contribution to Security through Noninvasive Biometrics
8. Marine invasive species advance 50km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
9. Marine invasive species advance 50 km per decade, World Conference on Marine Biodiversity told
10. Climate change opens new avenue for spread of invasive plants
11. Invasive plants challenge scientists in face of environmental change
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/17/2015)... , November 17, 2015 ... au 19 novembre  2015.  --> Paris ... --> DERMALOG, le leader de l,innovation biométrique, ... la fois passeports et empreintes sur la même surface ... les passeports et l,autre pour les empreintes digitales. Désormais, ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) ("PBI" and ... of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based sample preparation ... it has received gross proceeds of $745,000 from an ... "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised to date in ... are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  A golden retriever that stayed healthy despite ... has provided a new lead for treating this muscle-wasting ... Institute of MIT and Harvard and the University of ... Cell, pinpoints a protective gene that ... effects. The Boston Children,s lab of Lou Kunkel ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... a fireside chat discussion at the Piper Jaffray 27th ... . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, ... .  A replay will be available for 14 days ... , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business Development , ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid ... will be speaking at the following conference, and invited ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ... New York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 ... Jaffray Healthcare Conference, New York, NY ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... the request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto ... this news release there are no corporate developments that ... price. --> --> ... --> . --> Aeterna Zentaris ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 SHPG ) announced today that ... Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference in New ... 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). --> SHPG ) ... participate in the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. EST (1:30 p.m. GMT). ...
Breaking Biology Technology: