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Biotic resistance experienced by an invasive crustacean in a temperate estuary
Hunt, C.E.; Behrens Yamada, S. (2003). Biotic resistance experienced by an invasive crustacean in a temperate estuary. Biological Invasions 5(1-2): 33-43
In: Biological Invasions. Springer: London. ISSN 1387-3547, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Hunt, C.E.; Behrens Yamada, S. (2003). Biotic resistance experienced by an invasive crustacean in a temperate estuary, in: Pederson, J. Marine bioinvasions: patterns, processes and perspectives. : pp. 33-43, more

Available in Authors 

    Biotic factors; Invasions; Marine crustaceans; Predation; Cancer productus Randall, 1840 [WoRMS]; Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; INE, USA, Oregon, Yaquina Bay [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Hunt, C.E.
  • Behrens Yamada, S., correspondent

    Communities high in species diversity tend to be more successful in resisting invaders than those low in species diversity. It has been proposed that the biotic resistance offered by native predators, competitors and disease organisms plays a role. In Yaquina Bay, Oregon, we observed very little overlap in the distribution of the invasive European green crab, Carcinus maenas, and the larger red rock crab, Cancer productus. C. productus dominates the more saline, cooler lower estuary and C. maenas, the less saline, warmer upper estuary. Because caged C. maenas survive well in the lower estuary, we decided to test the hypothesis that C. productus prey on C. maenas and thus contribute to their exclusion from the more physically benign lower estuary. A laboratory species interaction experiment was designed to determine whether C. productus preys on smaller C. maenas at a higher rate than on smaller crabs of their own species. Crabs of both species were collected and sorted by weight into three size classes: small, medium and large. Small and medium crabs of both species were paired with C. maenas and C. productus of various sizes. When conspecifics were paired, mortality was less than 14%, even in the presence of larger crabs. Smaller C. productus survived well in the presence of larger C. maenas, but the reverse was not true. When small C. maenas (60-67 mm carapace width) were matched with medium and large C. productus, their mortality increased to 52% and 76%, respectively. A less dramatic pattern was observed for medium C. maenas (73-80 mm) in the presence of medium and large C. productus. Thus on the West Coast of North America, the more aggressive red rock crab, C. productus, has the potential to reduce the abundance of C. maenas in the more saline and cooler lower estuaries.

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