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Potential effects of a non-indigenous predator in its expanded range: assessing green crab, Carcinus maenas, prey preference in a productive coastal area of Atlantic Canada
Pickering, T.; Quijon, P.A. (2011). Potential effects of a non-indigenous predator in its expanded range: assessing green crab, Carcinus maenas, prey preference in a productive coastal area of Atlantic Canada. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 158(9): 2065-2078. hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00227-011-1713-8
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Pickering, T.
  • Quijon, P.A.

Abstract
    The non-indigenous green crab (Carcinus maenas) is an important predator on bivalve wild beds in coastal areas worldwide. This study explored size-dependent green crab prey preference on American oysters (Crassostrea virginica), blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), and soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) in a productive coastal system of Atlantic Canada. Using two sizes of prey and three different experimental manipulations, small, medium, and large green crabs were given a choice among these three bivalves, and their daily feeding rates were monitored over the course of 3 days. For both prey sizes, green crabs showed an early feeding preference for soft-shell clams and, only as they declined in numbers, a switch toward mussels and subsequently toward oysters. We found that such changes in the timing (order) of prey preference are related to prey differences in shell thickness, a fairly reliable indicator of prey shell strength.

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