Population Distribution of Procambarus Clarkii in Vicksburg, Michigan : A Case Study on Early Invasive Population Composition
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Invasive species cost trillions of dollars globally every year. They destroy ecosystems in all environments and are present all over the world. Found in late 2017 the Red Swamp Crayfish (RSC) is a new species to the small Michigan town of Vicksburg and poses some new threats to the city. From burrowing into riverbanks and causing accelerated erosion to loss of local crayfish species through competition they are of the upmost importance to be monitored and possibly eradicated over the upcoming years. To assess the current status of RSC, I studied the physical range of the Red Swamp Crayfish by placing minnow traps at increasing distances away from the source point in Sunset Lake. A majority of the traps were placed in streams or rivers flowing out of the lake in order to gain insight on the population’s spread towards the southernly connected Barton Lake. While expansion of the invasion was discovered the population has not reached Barton Lake. Monitoring a population so early in its invasive stage is a unique opportunity to gain insights into how crayfish populations originally get established; how a population successfully invades, and at what rate they do so.
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