Project DId

Dispersion of Invasive Decapods

Marine and Environmental Research Centre


Red-swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii). Photographic credits and copyright: César Capinha



This project aimed to study the invasion dynamics of 4 decapod crustaceans, present in the freshwaters of the Iberian Peninsula. The Red Swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), the Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus), the Australian crayfish (Cherax destructor) and the Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis). All of these 4 species are able to disperse actively, mainly in the water but also overland, which makes them a very interesting and atypical subject. Reports on human mediated dispersion of these species are also well known. Nevertheless, no records have been produced so far regarding biological passive dispersion of these animals. In this context, at the beginning of the project our objectives were:

To map and model the present distribution of these species in the Iberian Peninsula using GIS.

To determine the potential areas for invasion by these species in the aquatic systems of the Iberian Peninsula.

To explore the factors behind the overland dispersal of these species, at the same time estimating its likelihood under different conditions.

To determine if passive dispersion of juveniles by waterbirds is possible and which factors affect its likelihood.

To develop a fresh approach to ecological modelling, using spatially explicit, GIS and dynamic modelling, under present and future temporal scenarios applied to the context of freshwater systems.

To provide projections of invasion likelihood in the Iberian Peninsula under different future climatic scenarios.

Pedro Anastácio

(Prof. Auxiliar - Aggr.)

IMAR - Institute of Marine Research

Dept. of Landscape, Environment and Planning

University of Évora

R. Romao Ramalho, 59

7000-671 Évora


To contact us:


phone: +351 266745385  (internal: 25388)

fax: +351 266745395

The Signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus). Photographic credits and copyright: César Capinha

Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis). Photo by: Mónica Marques