Historical and Current Distribution of Western Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Primary Burrowing Crayfishes: a Century of Change or Stasis?

Authors

  • Katie Scott West Liberty University Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Zachary Wade Dillard West Liberty University Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • Nicole Marie Sadecky West Virginia Department of Natural Resources
  • David Lieb Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
  • Zachary James Loughman West Liberty University Department of Natural Sciences

Keywords:

Ecology, Freshwater Ecosystems, Freshwater Invertebrates, Life History, Conservation, Crayfish, Astacology

Abstract

Astacological efforts in Pennsylvania have increased over the past decade. In particular, the distribution and conservation standing of WPA burrowing crayfish represents the greatest void in knowledge regarding the states crayfish fauna. To rectify this situation, burrowing crayfish surveys were initiated across WPA in 2014/2015 using Ortmann’s (1906) historical records as a guide. Of the 61 historic sites that were resampled, 19.6% maintained burrowing crayfish populations. Of the 57 new sites that were sampled, 71.9% supported burrowing crayfish populations. Overall burrowing crayfish were detected at 44.9% of the 118 sites sampled.  Ortmann documented Cambarus dubius, Cambarus monongalensis, and Cambarus thomai in WPA. All three species were found during our surveys, with each species allied to a physiographic region, and found in the general area that Ortmann discovered them in a century prior. Urbanization had a negative effect on burrowing crayfish’s over the past century, and greenspaces proved to be important islands of habitation in the presence of urbanization. Overall our survey results indicate that all three species are currently stable in Pennsylvania.

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Published

2017-04-04

How to Cite

Scott, K., Dillard, Z. W., Sadecky, N. M., Lieb, D., & Loughman, Z. J. (2017). Historical and Current Distribution of Western Pennsylvania’s Appalachian Primary Burrowing Crayfishes: a Century of Change or Stasis?. Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science, 89(1). Retrieved from https://pwvas.org/index.php/pwvas/article/view/234

Issue

Section

Meeting Abstracts-Poster