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1 May 2018 Habitat Associations of Three Crayfish Endemic to the Ouachita Mountain Ecoregion
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Abstract

Many crayfish are of conservation concern because of their use of unique habitats and often narrow ranges. In this study, we determined fine-scale habitat use by 3 crayfishes that are endemic to the Ouachita Mountains, in Oklahoma and Arkansas. We sampled Faxonius menae (Mena Crayfish), F. leptogonopodus (Little River Creek Crayfish), and Fallicambarus tenuis (Ouachita Mountain Crayfish) from wet and dry erosional channel units of 29 reaches within the Little River catchment. We compared channel-unit and microhabitat selection for each species. Crayfish of all species and life stages selected erosional channel units more often than depositional units, even though these sites were often dry. Accordingly, crayfish at all life stages typically selected the shallowest available microhabitats. Adult crayfish of all species and juvenile Little River Creek Crayfish selected patches of coarse substrate, and all crayfish tended to use the lowest amount of bedrock available. In general, we showed that these endemic crayfish used erosional channel units of streams, even when the channel units were dry. Conservation efforts that protect erosional channel units and mitigate actions that cause channel downcutting to bedrock would benefit these crayfish, particularly during harsh, summer drying periods.

Joseph J. Dyer and Shannon K. Brewer "Habitat Associations of Three Crayfish Endemic to the Ouachita Mountain Ecoregion," Southeastern Naturalist 17(2), (1 May 2018). https://doi.org/10.1656/058.017.0207
Published: 1 May 2018
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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