Site specific assessments of burrow- and lentic-dwelling crayfish communities: A proposed sampling design

Christopher A. Taylor, Bryan S. Engelbert, Robert J. DiStefano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conducted a study to investigate methods to assess crayfish populations typically found in low gradient, lentic, floodplain habitats in Missouri. We used a random site selection process that allowed us to capture all known species from this region of Missouri. We compared two sampling methods for primary burrowing crayfishes at our sampling sites: hook-and-line capture technique and burrow excavation. Adjacent standing water habitats at sites were also sampled using a timed search method. Hook-and-line capture success was substantially less than reported in the literature (0.7% versus 80%), while burrow excavation was higher than reported (64% versus 40.7%). We successfully captured six crayfish species using burrow excavation, whereas lentic timed search sampling captured nine species in adjacent standing waters at our sampling sites. Our results suggest that additional efforts sampling lentic habitats rather than additional time searching for and excavating burrows is more likely to capture total community richness. We found a seasonal influence on burrow occupancy surveys, as Julian day was positively correlated to finding active crayfish burrows. Crayfish capture in standing water was positively affected by soil temperature, and negatively correlated to Julian day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalFreshwater Crayfish
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Assessment
  • Burrowing crayfish
  • Lentic habitats
  • Missouri
  • Species richness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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