DNA-based monitoring of the alien invasive North American crayfish Procambarus clarkii in Andean lakes (Ecuador)
In 2013 the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) was introduced in Lake Yahuarcocha, a tropical, high altitude lake located in the Andes of northern Ecuador. Abundance of this alien invasive species has increased to such extent that it is disturbing the autochthonous aquatic ecosystem. A molecular method based on environmental DNA (eDNA) was developed and used to assess the distribution of P. clarkii at 21 sites in Lake Yahuarcocha, and three sites each at Lake Caricocha and Lake San Pablo in the Ecuadorian highlands. The results indicate that this budget-friendly method is easy to use and can provide important information on the occurrence of alien invasive species in the tropics.
Limnology of the neotropical high elevation shallow lake Yahuarcocha (Ecuador) and challenges for managing eutrophication using biomanipulation
Temperate and tropical shallow lakes differ in several fundamental aspects with respect to management of eutrophication. High altitude tropical shallow lakes are a special case, showing similarities with temperate and tropical lakes. In this research, the ecology of the eutrophic high-altitude tropical lake Yahuarcocha in the Ecuadorian Andes was studied and the potential of biomanipulation to control eutrophication was evaluated. It was concluded that lake Yahuarcocha is more similar to tropical shallow lakes, probably because water temperature is high relative to the mean air temperature and because of the absence of a cold season.