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Effect of artificial barriers on the distribution of the invasive signal crayfish and Chinese mitten crab
Scientific Reports, Volume: 9, Issue: 1
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The role of river obstacles in preventing or facilitating the dispersal and establishment of aquatic invasive species is controversial. Novel detection tools like environmental DNA (eDNA) can be used for monitoring aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as the American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus len...
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The role of river obstacles in preventing or facilitating the dispersal and establishment of aquatic invasive species is controversial. Novel detection tools like environmental DNA (eDNA) can be used for monitoring aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as the American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), providing information on the effect of barriers on their distribution. We analysed eDNA from both water and surface sediment in three river catchments (Medway, Dee and Stour; Great Britain), with differing levels of connectivity, to determine spatial distribution of the two species, and assessed the effect of barriers on their eDNA detection. Positive eDNA detections were obtained within confirmed sites for both species in all catchments, with evidence of species overlap in the River Medway. Upstream barriers in the Medway positively influenced detection success of mitten crab lower in the catchment while detection success of signal crayfish was higher in the highly fragmented catchment (River Medway). This information on the role of river barriers on AIS distribution and eDNA detection is important for management strategies and for predicting both future dispersal and likelihood of new colonisations in previously uninvaded fragmented catchments
College of Science