Loss of riparian vegetation alters the ecosystem role of a freshwater crayfish (Cherax destructor) in an Australian intermittent lowland stream

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Loss of riparian vegetation surrounding streams can affect instream biota by altering stream characteristics, such as terrestrially derived detrital inputs and instream productivity. Omnivorous crayfish can be a dominant component of stream biota and are considered a keystone species because of their ability to forage at multiple trophic levels. Resource shifts caused by changes in riparian canopy have the potential to influence crayfish diet and growth. We investigated the effects of changes in canopy cover on the crayfish Cherax destructor in a southeastern Australian lowland stream. We compared the diet of C. destructor between sites with and without riparian cover and determined how differences in the quantity of food resources between sites affected crayfish growth. The availability of basal (plant, algae, and detrital) resources was related to the presence of a riparian canopy. Aquatic macrophytes were more common at sites with no canopy cover and terrestrially derived leaf litter was more abundant at sites with an intact canopy. Stable isotope and gut content analyses of crayfish diet indicated a shift toward autochthonous food sources in individuals from sites with no canopy cover. In laboratory feeding trials, crayfish had higher growth rates when fed macrophyte material than when fed terrestrially derived leaf litter. Insights gained into resource use by crayfish, particularly the importance of aquatic invertebrates in crayfish diet, emphasize the merits of conducting both gut content and stable isotope analyses to assess short- and longer-term aspects of diet. Further structural and functional impacts of changes to riparian condition should be investigated, but the trophic role of C. destructor in stream food webs appears to be sensitive to alterations in the dominant basal resources associated with changes in riparian canopy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)626-637
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of the North American Benthological Society
    Volume28
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    Cherax destructor
    riparian vegetation
    crayfish
    lowlands
    canopy
    vegetation
    ecosystems
    ecosystem
    diet
    resource
    leaf litter
    algae
    plant litter
    stable isotopes
    biota
    stable isotope
    digestive system
    keystone species
    aquatic invertebrates
    food

    Cite this

    @article{e4a4ff7f21cf408a9679b7b9b7172ac8,
    title = "Loss of riparian vegetation alters the ecosystem role of a freshwater crayfish (Cherax destructor) in an Australian intermittent lowland stream",
    abstract = "Loss of riparian vegetation surrounding streams can affect instream biota by altering stream characteristics, such as terrestrially derived detrital inputs and instream productivity. Omnivorous crayfish can be a dominant component of stream biota and are considered a keystone species because of their ability to forage at multiple trophic levels. Resource shifts caused by changes in riparian canopy have the potential to influence crayfish diet and growth. We investigated the effects of changes in canopy cover on the crayfish Cherax destructor in a southeastern Australian lowland stream. We compared the diet of C. destructor between sites with and without riparian cover and determined how differences in the quantity of food resources between sites affected crayfish growth. The availability of basal (plant, algae, and detrital) resources was related to the presence of a riparian canopy. Aquatic macrophytes were more common at sites with no canopy cover and terrestrially derived leaf litter was more abundant at sites with an intact canopy. Stable isotope and gut content analyses of crayfish diet indicated a shift toward autochthonous food sources in individuals from sites with no canopy cover. In laboratory feeding trials, crayfish had higher growth rates when fed macrophyte material than when fed terrestrially derived leaf litter. Insights gained into resource use by crayfish, particularly the importance of aquatic invertebrates in crayfish diet, emphasize the merits of conducting both gut content and stable isotope analyses to assess short- and longer-term aspects of diet. Further structural and functional impacts of changes to riparian condition should be investigated, but the trophic role of C. destructor in stream food webs appears to be sensitive to alterations in the dominant basal resources associated with changes in riparian canopy.",
    keywords = "diet, basal resources, restoration, stable isotope, detritus, degradation, yabby.",
    author = "Darren Giling and Paul Reich and Ross THOMPSON",
    year = "2009",
    doi = "10.1899/09-015.1",
    language = "English",
    volume = "28",
    pages = "626--637",
    journal = "Journal of the North American Benthological Society",
    issn = "2161-9565",
    publisher = "The Society for Freshwater Science",
    number = "3",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Loss of riparian vegetation alters the ecosystem role of a freshwater crayfish (Cherax destructor) in an Australian intermittent lowland stream

    AU - Giling, Darren

    AU - Reich, Paul

    AU - THOMPSON, Ross

    PY - 2009

    Y1 - 2009

    N2 - Loss of riparian vegetation surrounding streams can affect instream biota by altering stream characteristics, such as terrestrially derived detrital inputs and instream productivity. Omnivorous crayfish can be a dominant component of stream biota and are considered a keystone species because of their ability to forage at multiple trophic levels. Resource shifts caused by changes in riparian canopy have the potential to influence crayfish diet and growth. We investigated the effects of changes in canopy cover on the crayfish Cherax destructor in a southeastern Australian lowland stream. We compared the diet of C. destructor between sites with and without riparian cover and determined how differences in the quantity of food resources between sites affected crayfish growth. The availability of basal (plant, algae, and detrital) resources was related to the presence of a riparian canopy. Aquatic macrophytes were more common at sites with no canopy cover and terrestrially derived leaf litter was more abundant at sites with an intact canopy. Stable isotope and gut content analyses of crayfish diet indicated a shift toward autochthonous food sources in individuals from sites with no canopy cover. In laboratory feeding trials, crayfish had higher growth rates when fed macrophyte material than when fed terrestrially derived leaf litter. Insights gained into resource use by crayfish, particularly the importance of aquatic invertebrates in crayfish diet, emphasize the merits of conducting both gut content and stable isotope analyses to assess short- and longer-term aspects of diet. Further structural and functional impacts of changes to riparian condition should be investigated, but the trophic role of C. destructor in stream food webs appears to be sensitive to alterations in the dominant basal resources associated with changes in riparian canopy.

    AB - Loss of riparian vegetation surrounding streams can affect instream biota by altering stream characteristics, such as terrestrially derived detrital inputs and instream productivity. Omnivorous crayfish can be a dominant component of stream biota and are considered a keystone species because of their ability to forage at multiple trophic levels. Resource shifts caused by changes in riparian canopy have the potential to influence crayfish diet and growth. We investigated the effects of changes in canopy cover on the crayfish Cherax destructor in a southeastern Australian lowland stream. We compared the diet of C. destructor between sites with and without riparian cover and determined how differences in the quantity of food resources between sites affected crayfish growth. The availability of basal (plant, algae, and detrital) resources was related to the presence of a riparian canopy. Aquatic macrophytes were more common at sites with no canopy cover and terrestrially derived leaf litter was more abundant at sites with an intact canopy. Stable isotope and gut content analyses of crayfish diet indicated a shift toward autochthonous food sources in individuals from sites with no canopy cover. In laboratory feeding trials, crayfish had higher growth rates when fed macrophyte material than when fed terrestrially derived leaf litter. Insights gained into resource use by crayfish, particularly the importance of aquatic invertebrates in crayfish diet, emphasize the merits of conducting both gut content and stable isotope analyses to assess short- and longer-term aspects of diet. Further structural and functional impacts of changes to riparian condition should be investigated, but the trophic role of C. destructor in stream food webs appears to be sensitive to alterations in the dominant basal resources associated with changes in riparian canopy.

    KW - diet

    KW - basal resources

    KW - restoration

    KW - stable isotope

    KW - detritus

    KW - degradation

    KW - yabby.

    U2 - 10.1899/09-015.1

    DO - 10.1899/09-015.1

    M3 - Article

    VL - 28

    SP - 626

    EP - 637

    JO - Journal of the North American Benthological Society

    JF - Journal of the North American Benthological Society

    SN - 2161-9565

    IS - 3

    ER -