Ecological field techniques such as transect surveys are long-used, integral means of immersing students in field exercises to illustrate ecological measures. Many species of crayfish create conspicuous burrows within or near aquatic habitats. Such burrows can easily be identified and measured by students during an ecological field exercise. In this article, we describe a field activity we developed as part of a college-level course in which students utilized transects and calipers to collect counts and measurements of crayfish burrows in order to evaluate their distribution and size among different substratum types along a small stream. This field exercise could be incorporated, with or without modification, into an applicable high school or introductory/intermediate college biology course as a means of illustrating ecological concepts, sampling technique, and/or behavioral biology.
Using Crayfish Burrows to Illustrate Simple Ecological Field Techniques
SEAN M. HARTZELL (email@example.com) was an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Bloomsburg, PA 17815; he is presently the Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Sean M. Hartzell, Thomas S. Klinger; Using Crayfish Burrows to Illustrate Simple Ecological Field Techniques. The American Biology Teacher 1 April 2021; 83 (4): 270–273. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2021.83.4.270
Download citation file: