Crayfish play many important roles in freshwater ecosystems such as ecosystem engineering, bioindicator, and food resource. Even though they are important to ecosystems, they are highly understudied. There has been previous work done on ecological niche modeling on Texas crayfish species, but this study takes it a step further by combining soil, climate, and hydrology variables to model the ecological niches of three endemic species: Procambarus texanus, Procambarus nueces, and Procambarus fayettei. Ecological niche models were created for the three species of interest using the program Maxent. I found that P. texanus and P. fayettei have indistinguishable fundamental niches, while P. nueces has a unique fundamental niche. P. texanus and P. fayettei prefer habitats with intermediate volumetric flow rates and precipitation, whereas P. nueces prefers larger catchment areas and more erodible soils. While Maxent models help generate hypotheses about the preferences of these species, further work to physiologically verify their specific habitat needs is warranted.

Date of publication

Spring 2024

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Joshua Banta, Lance Williams, Ryan Shartau, Archis Grubh


Masters in Biology

Included in

Biology Commons