Habitat requirements are essential knowledge for the conservation of narrowly endemic species. Basic ecological information is unavailable for most crayfish species, including the Tennessee bottlebrush crayfish, Barbicambarus simmonsi. To obtain ecological data, we conducted surveys for B. simmonsi within the Shoal Creek drainage in Lawrence County, Tennessee and Lauderdale County, Alabama from Summer 2013-Spring 2014. The objectives of our study were to determine distribution and habitat use of Barbicambarus simmonsi. Our work increased the number of known sites for the species from three to 14 across Shoal Creek, showing that they occupy a 38.6 km stretch of the creek. Habitat use modeling did not yield significant results, but observations show that crayfish use large flat boulders as habitat, with over 96% of crayfish found under such habitat. We conclude that while habitat modeling is an effective tool we should not overlook the importance of field observations as a contributor to natural history.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics