Behavioral interactions and trophic overlap between invasive signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus (Decapoda, Astacidae) and native fishes in iberian rivers
The signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus Dana, 1852 is a successful invasive species in the Iberian Peninsula. This is of particular conservation concern, as fish fauna is highly endemic and also threatened within this ecoregion. The aim of this study was to analyze behavioral interactions and trophic overlap between signal crayfish and native fishes in Iberian rivers (northern Spain). Video cameras were used to record fish "dominance/evasion" after spatial encounters with crayfish. Diet composition and isotopic signatures (¿13C and ¿15N) were compared to evaluate the niche overlap. Fish were dominant in 25% of the encounters with juvenile crayfish, whereas this percentage was only 4% with adult crayfish. Observations showed a high fish "evasion" response for Pyrenean stone loach Barbatula quignardi (B¿cescu-Me¿ter, 1967) (>30%). Dietary results showed a high trophic overlap between signal crayfish with the pelagic Pyrenean minnow Phoxinus bigerri Kottelat, 2007 and the benthic loach. However, the isotopic niche overlap was low, with brown trout Salmo trutta L., 1758 showing the highest area (only 0.1 ¿2). Overall, our findings suggest that interferences may occur with native species for food (i.e., benthic invertebrates). Consequently, measures should be applied to control invasive crayfish in Iberian rivers.