Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: West Virginia
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Hartman, K.J., C.D. Horn and P.M. Mazik 2010. Influence of multiple anthropogenic stressors on Mortality of the Crayfish Cambarus bartonii in an Appalachian River. Journal of Freshwater Ecology 25:19-30.


Effects of elevated temperature and acid mine drainage (AMD) on crayfish mortality were investigated in the Stony River, Grant County, WV. During summers 2003 and 2004, four-week in situ bioassays were performed along a thermal and AMD gradient with the native crayfish Cambarus bartonii. Crayfish mortality was analyzed in conjunction with temperature and AMD related variables (pH, specific conductivity). Mortality was significantly higher (44-88%) at sites with high temperatures during 2003 (max=33C), but no significant differences were observed in 2004 (max=32C). Temperatures were higher in 2003 than 2004 due to increased discharge from a cooling reservoir flowing into the river. Additionally, duration of high temperature was approximately four days in 2003 as compared with only one day in 2004. No significant relationship between AMD variables and crayfish mortality was apparent.