Translator Disclaimer
1 March 2014 Impact of Predation by the Invasive Crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus on Survival of Juvenile Blue Mussels in Western Long Island Sound
Diane J. Brousseau, Ronald Goldberg, Corey Garza
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

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.

Diane J. Brousseau, Ronald Goldberg, and Corey Garza "Impact of Predation by the Invasive Crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus on Survival of Juvenile Blue Mussels in Western Long Island Sound," Northeastern Naturalist 21(1), 119-133, (1 March 2014). https://doi.org/10.1656/045.021.0110
Published: 1 March 2014
JOURNAL ARTICLE
15 PAGES


Share
SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top