Chemical Orientation Strategies of the Crayfish are Influenced by the Hydrodynamics of their Native Environment

TitleChemical Orientation Strategies of the Crayfish are Influenced by the Hydrodynamics of their Native Environment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMoore PA, Ferrante PA, Bergner JL
JournalThe American Midland Naturalist
Volume173
Issue1
Pagination17 - 29
Date Published01/2015
Type of ArticlePI
KeywordsHYDRODYNAMICS
Abstract

Crayfish of the species Orconectes virilis inhabit two distinct types of hydrodynamic environments: lakes and rivers. Odor cues in these habitats convey chemical information differently due to dispersion by different physical processes. In the laboratory we examined orientation strategies of crayfish collected from lake and river habitats to an odor source dispersed in either a lotic (river) or lentic (lake) manner. Our results showed lake crayfish had variable responses under both flow regimes whereas river crayfish oriented similarly under both flow regimes. Lake crayfish increased walking speeds, decreased heading angles, and decreased turn angles while orienting under lotic versus lentic conditions. Conversely, river crayfish oriented similarly under both flow regimes and reflected lake crayfish behavior in lotic flow. We conclude lake and river crayfish show differences in their orientation strategies due to influences from sensory signals in their source habitat. These results show crayfish show behavioral plasticity with respect to the hydrodynamic and signal structure from their native environments and may be an example of sensory bias.

DOI10.1674/0003-0031-173.1.17