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Differential growth of crayfish Procambarus alleni in relation to hydrological conditions in marl prairie wetlands of Everglades National Park, USA
Acosta, C.A.; Perry, S.A. (2000). Differential growth of crayfish Procambarus alleni in relation to hydrological conditions in marl prairie wetlands of Everglades National Park, USA. Aquat. Ecol. 34(4): 389-395
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Acosta, C.A.
  • Perry, S.A.

Abstract
    Environmental conditions influence crustacean growth by affecting molt intervals and incremental increases in length and weight. In the seasonally-flooded marl prairie wetlands of easternEverglades National Park, U.S.A., hydropattern exerts considerable influence on aquatic primary productivity, and so may influence the availability of food resources for higher trophic levels. The seasonal hydroperiod has been drastically altered by anthropogenic factors, but the impacts on the aquatic community are not well known. We studied whether differences in growth of crayfish Procambarus alleni could be detected in habitats with different hydroperiods. We first described growth patterns based on incremental increases in length and weight of crayfish on a high protein diet in the laboratory. Regression analyses indicated that growth patterns in males and females were similar. Although the intermolt period increased with age, the proportional increases in length and weight were similar through successive molts. The relationship between length and weight of crayfish was best described by a power equation for allometric growth. We then compared growth curves for crayfish subpopulations from different areas of the marl prairie. In habitats with the longest hydroperiods, crayfish weight-at-size was not significantly different from that in laboratory crayfish on the high protein diet. However, weight gain per unit increase in length in short hydroperiod sites was significantly less than in long hydroperiod sites or in the laboratory. These results indicate that crayfish productivity , may be associated with hydroperiod in these stressed wetlands, and this may contribute to observed source-sink population regulation.

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