STABLE ISOTOPE ANALYSIS OF CRAYFISH ORCONECTES VIRILIS DIET IN VARIABLE RIVERS
Stable isotope analysis provides a way to examine likely carbon sources as well as relative trophic position of sampled species. Within streams, there are terrestrial carbon sources and aquatic carbon sources that are available to consumers that theoretically separate out through their 13C isotope ratios. Our study examines how the diet of crayfish (Orconectes virilis) changes with hydrologic and seasonal variation in Arizona streams. Previous studies have not found variation in seasonal diet in crayfish in lakes, but it is unknown how crayfish change their diet sources with an extremely variable habitat. Preliminary results show variation in 13C signature for basal resources between seasons, and further analysis hopes to show how hydrologic variation plays a part in the diets of crayfish. Variation will likely become a more prominent factor for ecosystems as climate change continues and this study will provide information on how a resilient organism's diet responds to hydrologic variation.
Sara Thompson (Primary Presenter/Author), Arizona State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;