Laboratory analysis of the habitat occupancy of the crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould) in an invaded ecosystem: The north-eastern Baltic Sea.

Nurkse, Kristiina, Kotta, Jonne, Orav-Kotta, Helen, Pärnoja, Merli and Kuprijanov, Ivan (2015) Laboratory analysis of the habitat occupancy of the crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Gould) in an invaded ecosystem: The north-eastern Baltic Sea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 154 . pp. 152-157. DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.12.046.

[img] Text
1-s2.0-S0272771415000086-main.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (481Kb) | Contact

Supplementary data:

Abstract

The Harris mud crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii) arrived to the Baltic Sea in 1936. It was not until the late 2000es when the species considerably expanded its distribution area towards the northern Baltic Sea and formed a viable and expanding population. This introduction represents an appearance of a completely new function, as such larger epibenthic predators were previously missing from north-eastern Baltic Sea. In order to assess potential impacts of the crab to the invaded ecosystem, knowledge of the crab habitat preferences is required. This study experimentally evaluated the habitat occupancy of the Harris mud crab. The crab stayed more in vegetated boulders compared to unvegetated boulders or sandy habitats. There was an interactive effect between the presence of prey and crab population density with prey availability increasing the crab's affinity towards less favored habitats when population densities were low. Increased aggression between crab individuals increased their affinity towards otherwise less occupied habitats. Less favored habitats were typically inhabited by smaller individuals and presence of prey increased occupancy of some habitats for larger crabs. The experiment demonstrated that the crab may inhabit a large variety of habitats with stronger affinity towards boulder fields covered with the brown macroalga Fucus vesiculosus. This implies stronger impact of crab in such habitats in the invaded ecosystem.

Document Type: Article
Funder compliance: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/FP7/266445
Keywords: benthic habitats; costal sea; invasive species; the Harris mud crab
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.12.046
ISSN: 0272-7714
Projects: BONUS BIO-C3, VECTORS
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2015 13:59
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2015 13:59
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/27873

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

More statistics for this item...