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Data from: Evolution of invasive traits in nonindigenous species: increased survival and faster growth in invasive populations of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus)

Citation

Sargent, Lindsey W.; Lodge, David M. (2014), Data from: Evolution of invasive traits in nonindigenous species: increased survival and faster growth in invasive populations of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.k018j

Abstract

The importance of evolution in enhancing the invasiveness of species is not well understood, especially in animals. To evaluate evolution in crayfish invasions, we tested for differences in growth rate, survival, and response to predators between native and invaded range populations of rusty crayfish (Orconectes rusticus). We hypothesized that low conspecific densities during introductions into lakes would select for increased investment in growth and reproduction in invasive populations. We reared crayfish from both ranges in common garden experiments in lakes and mesocosms, the latter in which we also included treatments of predatory fish presence and food quality. In both lake and mesocosm experiments, O. rusticus from invasive populations had significantly faster growth rates and higher survival than individuals from the native range, especially in mesocosms where fish were present. There was no influence of within-range collection location on growth rate. Egg size was similar between ranges and did not affect crayfish growth. Our results, therefore, suggest that growth rate, which previous work has shown contributes to strong community-level impacts of this invasive species, has diverged since O. rusticus was introduced to the invaded range. This result highlights the need to consider evolutionary dynamics in invasive species mitigation strategies.

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