Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Asian Shore Crab) has shown a remarkable ability to colonize rocky intertidal communities along the east coast of the United States since its introduction in the late 1980s and is an important predator of juvenile Mytilus edulis (Blue Mussel) in invaded habitats. In this study, we used two field-caging experiments and the Kaplan-Meier model to assess the impact of predation by Asian Shore Crab on the survival of juvenile Blue Mussels in an intertidal habitat of western Long Island Sound along the Connecticut coastline. Five treatment levels (high-density enclosure, low-density enclosure, exclosure, partial cage, and open plot) were used in the 2007 experiment. The high-density enclosure treatment was omitted in the 2010 experiment since there was no statistically significant difference in the proportion of mussels surviving between low- and high-density crab treatments in 2007. In 2007, we measured a statistically significant difference in mussel mortality between exclosure and crab-enclosure cages, with crabs lowering the median survival time for mussels from 15.4 to 7.6 days. In 2010, we again measured a statistically significant difference in mussel mortality between exclosure and crab-enclosure cages, suggesting a crab effect on mussel survival. In the 2010 experiment, approximately 25% of the mussel mortality was attributable to crab predation, which reduced median survival time for mussels from 12.8 to 5.6 days. The median survival time for mussels exposed to the full complement of factors affecting survival (open plots and partial cages) was only 2–3 days. Our study shows that predation by Asian crabs may account for up to 25% of the Blue Mussel mortality in the intertidal zone at Black Rock Harbor. Further studies focusing on the importance of other biotic and abiotic factors are needed to understand the apparent declines in Blue Mussel populations and the interannual variability in recruitment success in this area.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 21 • No. 1