The diet of an invasive crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus (Von Martens, 1868), in Lake Kariba, inferred using stomach content and stable isotope analyses
Marufu, Lightone T.
MetadataShow full item record
The diet of an invasive crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus (Von Martens 1868), in Lake Kariba, was investigated using stomach content analysis (SCA) and stable isotope analysis (SIA). The frequency of occurrence of macrophytes and detritus ranged between 63.6–97.1% and 20–45.5%, respectively, and the index of relative importance ranked these as the two most important food items across all size classes. Significant differences in the ranking of fish, macroinvertebrates and crayfish were found between size classes 29–37.9, 38–46.9 and 47–55.9mm. Stomach content analysis showed 16% of crayfish stomachs were empty. Feeding intensity differed significantly between size classes and ranged from 3.46 to 5.21. Stable isotope analysis was done by comparing δ13C, δ15N and C/N ratios in crayfish muscle and potential dietary items in the lake. Macrophytes were the most dominant food item (57%), followed by macroinvertebrates (20%), then detritus, and finally fish and crayfish. Stable isotope analysis revealed that all crayfish size classes analysed were in the same trophic level. Nevertheless, while SCA showed high dietary overlap among all crayfish size classes (>65%), SIA showed that small crayfish (< 28.9mm) had limited overlap with large crayfish (> 56mm), with the former showing a higher proportion of macroinvertebrates in their diet. In Lake Kariba, C. quadricarinatus predominantly feeds on macrophytes, macroinvertebrates and detritus, which may bring about nutrient cycle alterations in the lake. Littoral habitat changes caused by the feeding characteristics of C. quadricarinatus might also lead to competition with, and eventual displacement of, some nativelittoral fishes in this lake.
Additional Citation InformationMarufu, L. T., Dalu, T., Crispen, P., Barson, M., Simango, R., Utete, B., & Nhiwatiwa, T. (2018). The diet of an invasive crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus (Von Martens, 1868), in Lake Kariba, inferred using stomach content and stable isotope analyses. BioInvasions Record, 7 (2).
SponsorResearch Council of Zimbabwe The University of Zimbabwe Vice Chancellor’s Data Collection Fund.
Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre (REABIC)
The following supplementary material is available for this article: Table S1. Location of the study sites in the Sanyati Basin of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe. Table S2. Results of stable isotope analysis in R of the food source proportions in redclaw crayfish diet. This material is available as part of online article from: http://www.reabic.net/journals/bir/2018/Supplements/BIR_2018_Marufu_etal_SupplementaryTables.xlsx