Multiple invasions and predation: The impact of the crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus on invasive and native snails - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Ecology and Evolution Year : 2024

Multiple invasions and predation: The impact of the crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus on invasive and native snails

Abstract

Abstract The pace of biological invasions has increased in recent decades, leading to multiple invasions and the potential dominance of invasive species, destabilizing local ecological networks. This provides opportunities to study new ecological species interactions, including predation. Tropical freshwaters have been particularly concerned by aquatic invasions and we focused here on the Martinique island (Lesser Antilles). We examined the predator–prey relationships involving invasive Thiarid snails ( Tarebia granifera and Melanoides tuberculata ) and the native Neritina punctulata , both confronted with a newcomer predator, the redclaw crayfish ( Cherax quadricarinatus ). We conducted several mesocosm experiments to assess the impact of crayfish predation on snail survival and the passive and active antipredator responses of snails. A first experiment indicated snail survival rates between 50% and 80%, depending on crayfish size and sex. Notably, there was a negative correlation between snail survival and male crayfish size and the predation method (shell crushing vs. “body sucking”) varied with crayfish size. The second experiment suggested no refuge size for snails, with both very small (<5 mm) and very large (>5 mm) unable to escape predation, regardless of crayfish size (from 77 to 138 mm) or sex. Finally, we investigated the escape behavior of Thiarids regarding three crayfish cues. Melanoides tuberculata tend to bury in the substrate and T. granifera to climb up aquarium walls, what was expected from their shell morphologies, and both responding to crayfish cues within minutes. Overall, C. quadricarinatus proves to be an efficient snail predator with limited escape options for snails, potentially contributing to the decline of certain snail populations in Martinique. This omnivorous predator might impact other native species across different groups, including shrimps and fish. Our study underscores the urgent need for monitoring efforts, solidifying the redclaw crayfish reputation as a dangerous invasive species for freshwater macrobenthic faunas worldwide.
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hal-04640060 , version 1 (09-07-2024)

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Thomas Baudry, Lola Millet, Philippe Jarne, Patrice David, Frédéric Grandjean. Multiple invasions and predation: The impact of the crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus on invasive and native snails. Ecology and Evolution, 2024, 14 (4), ⟨10.1002/ece3.11191⟩. ⟨hal-04640060⟩
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