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Aquat Biosyst. 2012; 8: 13.
Published online Jun 27, 2012. doi:  10.1186/2046-9063-8-13
PMCID: PMC3460755
Do Marmorkrebs, Procambarus fallax f. virginalis, threaten freshwater Japanese ecosystems?
Zen Faulkes,corresponding author1 Teresa Patricia Feria,1 and Jesús Muñoz2,3
1Department of Biology, The University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX, USA
2Real Jardín Botánico (RJB-CSIC), Plaza de Murillo 2, 28014, Madrid, Spain
3Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica, Bolívar 2035 y Quito, Ambato, Ecuador
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
Zen Faulkes: zfaulkes/at/utpa.edu; Teresa Patricia Feria: tpferia/at/utpa.edu; Jesús Muñoz: jmunoz/at/rjb.csic.es
Received April 25, 2012; Accepted June 11, 2012.
Abstract
Background
One marbled crayfish, Marmorkrebs, Procambarus fallax f. virginalis (Hagen, 1870), was discovered in a natural ecosystem in Japan in 2006. Because Marmorkrebs are parthenogenetic, they could establish a population from only a single individual, and thus pose a risk for becoming established in Japan, as they have in other countries. There are two major reasons to be concerned about the possibility of Marmorkrebs establishing viable populations in Japan. First, Japan’s only endemic crayfish, Cambaroides japonicus (De Haan, 1841), lives throughout Hokkaido and is endangered. Introduced Marmorkrebs are potential competitors that could further threaten C. japonicus. Second, Marmorkrebs live in rice paddies in Madagascar and consume rice. Marmorkrebs populations could reduce rice yields in Japan.
Results
We created five models in MaxEnt of the potential distribution of Marmorkrebs in Japan. All models showed eastern Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu contain suitable habitats for Marmorkrebs. Hokkaido, the main habitat for C. japonicus, contained much less suitable habitat in most models, but is where the only Marmorkrebs in Japan to date was found.
Conclusions
Marmorkrebs appear to be capable of establishing populations in Japan if introduced. They appear to pose minimal threat to C. japonicus, but may negatively affect rice production.
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