The influence of invader traits and community characteristics on the invasion success of an exotic crayfish

2007 2007

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Biological invasions are among the leading causes of the loss of biodiversity worldwide. Although there are many hypotheses about traits of a good invader and characteristics of native communities that increase susceptibility to invasion, the realized success of an exotic species is likely a combination of both species and community traits. This dissertation takes a multi-stage approach to examine how behavioral traits of an invader, along with characteristics of invaded communities influence the distribution, establishment and impact of the signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) in freshwater stream communities. I begin in chapter one by providing an overview of each stage of the invasion process along with invader traits and community characteristics important at each stage. I then describe the patterns of crayfish invasions and provide background on the systems studied in this dissertation. In chapter two, I evaluated how native species diversity, the presence of an ecologically similar species, prey availability and stream discharge influenced the distribution and abundance of signal crayfish at fine and broad spatial scales. In chapter three, I tested whether the presence of an ecologically similar species (e.g. native crayfish) influenced the aggressiveness, activity and voracity of signal crayfish. Finally, in chapter four I evaluated the consequences of high abundances of signal crayfish on native prey and the behavior of signal crayfish. Accumulated evidence suggests that signal crayfish possess the behavioral traits (e.g. a general aggression syndrome) to overcome many challenges faced during the invasion process, but that characteristics of the invaded community (e.g. prey availability and physical attributes of streams) provide some resistance against signal crayfish reaching high abundances. When native communities do not offer much resistance (i.e. abundant prey and low flood disturbances), signal crayfish often invade at high abundances that result in large impacts on native species. The patterns and results suggest that the communities with high prey availability and infrequent disturbances are most at risk of invasion, but that the aggressive nature of this invader makes most communities vulnerable to invasion.

Indexing (details)

Freshwater ecology
0329: Ecology
0793: Freshwater ecology
Identifier / keyword
Biological sciences; Behavioral syndromes; Community characteristics; Crayfish; Invader traits; Invasion success; Invasive species; Pacifastacus leniusculus
The influence of invader traits and community characteristics on the invasion success of an exotic crayfish
Pintor, Lauren Melissa
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-B 68/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
University of California, Davis
University location
United States -- California
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.