Biological invasions can have dramatic effects on freshwater ecosystems and introduced crayfish can be particularly impacting. We document crayfish distribution in three large hydrographic basins (Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette/Columbia) in the Pacific Northwest USA. We used occupancy analyses to investigate habitat relationships and evidence for displacement of native Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852) by two invaders. We found invasive Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852), in 51 of 283 sites and in all three hydrographic basins. We found invasive Orconectes n. neglectus (Faxon, 1885) at 68% of sites in the Rogue basin and provide first documentation of their broad distribution in the Umpqua basin. We found P. clarkii in both lentic and lotic habitats, and it was positively associated with manmade sites. P. leniusculus was positively associated with lotic habitats and negatively related to manmade sites. In the Rogue and Umpqua basins, O. n. neglectus and P. leniusculus were similar in their habitat associations. We did not find a negative relationship in site occupancy between O. n. neglectus and P. leniusculus. Our data suggest that P. clarkii has potential to locally displace P. leniusculus. There is still time for preventive measures to limit the spread of the invasive crayfish in this region.
Additional publication details
Habitat and co-occurrence of native and invasive crayfish in the Pacific Northwest, USA