THE POPULATION GENETICS OF THE WHITE TUBERCLED CRAYFISH (PROCAMBARUS SPICULIFER, LECONTE 1856) FROM THE OCONEE RIVER DRAINAGE OF GEORGIA**
The southeastern United States is a global hotspot in terms of freshwater biodiversity and is home to nearly one-third of the over 640 species of crayfish known worldwide. Unfortunately, over 30% of crayfish are threatened with extinction with the biggest threats being habitat loss, the introduction of invasive species and habitat fragmentation. These threats are exemplified in Georgia which is home to over 70 different crayfishes and more than 4,500 man-made dams. The White Tubercled Crayfish (Procambarus spiculifer, LeConte 1856) is a common stream dwelling crayfish found inhabiting a wide range of flowing water habitats across the state. Given their restricted dispersal abilities, physiological constraints, and the fragmented nature of their habitat, it is hypothesized that P. spiculifer will exhibit high levels of population structure throughout its range. To test this, the genetic structure of P. spiculifer populations throughout the Oconee River Basin is being investigated by sequence analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. Preliminary analysis has revealed little to no population structure within the limited regions of the Lower Oconee sampled to date. However, additional sampling may reveal population structure corresponding to specific barriers (e.g., Wallace and Sinclair Dams) and/or geologic regions (e.g., Piedmont and Coastal Plains). This project has the potential to provide valuable information that can be used for the conservation and management of crayfish and other freshwater species throughout Georgia and the southeastern United States.
Rylee, Noah and Weese, David
"THE POPULATION GENETICS OF THE WHITE TUBERCLED CRAYFISH (PROCAMBARUS SPICULIFER, LECONTE 1856) FROM THE OCONEE RIVER DRAINAGE OF GEORGIA**,"
Georgia Journal of Science, Vol. 81, No. 1, Article 56.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.gaacademy.org/gjs/vol81/iss1/56