Highway to heaven? Roadsides as preferred habitat for two narrowly endemic crayfish

Cody M. Rhoden, Christopher A. Taylor, William E. Peterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Roadside ditches can have attributes that are beneficial or detrimental for animal persistence. Investigators have found mostly negative effects on fauna that inhabit roadside ditches. However, we think the microhabitat found in the roadside ditches could be beneficial to 2 narrowly endemic habitat specialists. We tested this prediction by collecting habitat data for 2 primary burrowing crayfish species, Fallicambarus harpi and Procambarus reimeri, in the Ouachita Mountains Ecoregion of Arkansas. We analyzed the data with generalized linear mixed models. Our analysis revealed that canopy cover and the presence of hydrophilic sedges are important factors in predicting crayfish abundance across the landscape. We conclude that the microhabitat of roadside ditches can be beneficial to the persistence of these 2 narrowly endemic habitat specialists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)974-983
Number of pages10
JournalFreshwater Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Arkansas
  • Burrowing crayfish
  • Fallicambarus harpi
  • Ouachita Mountains
  • Procambarus reimeri
  • Road

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science


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