Variation in tolerance to low environmental ph by the crayfish orconectes rusticus orconectes propinquus and cambarus robustus
Berrill, M.; Hollett, L.; Margosian, A.; Hudson, J.
Canadian Journal of Zoology 63(11): 2586-2589
ISSN/ISBN: 0008-4301 Accession: 006893812
We compared the tolerance of three common Ontario crayfish species to low pH under natural and laboratory conditions in water varying in aluminum concentration and hardness. Both transplant and laboratory experiments indicated that exposure to a pH range of 5.4-6.1 in soft water was toxic to attached juvenile stages of Orconectes rusticus and O. propinquus but not to females carrying the broods. In contrast, stage III juveniles of Cambarus robustus molted and survived in soft water at pH 4. Cambarus robustus is clearly far less sensitive to low pH stress than the two Orconectes species. No increased mortality due to the presence of elevated aluminum occurred among stage III juveniles of the three species exposed to pH 4.5-5.0 in soft water. Physiological differences, augmented by differences in life cycle, may account for the continued presence of C. robustus in acid-stressed lakes and streams.