Energetic demand of the invasive crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus and the native Carcinus maenas at Helgoland, North Sea

simon.jungblut [ at ] awi.de


Biological invasions can entail major threats to marine biodiversity. Non-indigenous species may induce changes in community structure and ecosystem functioning, thereby affecting ecosystem services and human economic interest and health. Decapod brachyuran crabs are among the most invasive marine animal taxa. The originally European species Carcinus maenas and the Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus invaded different coastal areas around the world. While their invasion history and ecology has been thoroughly investigated, physiological properties of H. sanguineus are virtually unknown. The aim of this study was to compare the metabolic energy demand of both crab species and - based on these data - to assess their potential dietary impact on the ecosystem. Respiration measurements were conducted with a flow-through system covering a temperature range naturally experienced by these crabs (5, 10, 15 and 20 °C). Both species were analyzed on the island of Helgoland in April, June and August 2015. A general linear mixed-effects model (LMM) was applied to test for the effects of species, temperature, biomass and sex on respiration rates. Overall rates increased with temperature but decreased with the mass of the crabs. Respiration rates did not differ significantly between sexes in both species. From the full model, two separated LMMs were created for either species. They allowed establishing species-specific equations for the prediction of respiration rates y (nmol d-1 g-1) for a crab of any given mass xMass (g) at any given ambient temperature xTemp (°C): ln y = 10.39 + (-0.34 * ln xMass) + (0.06 * xTemp) for C. maenas and ln y = 10.42 + (-0.39 * ln xMass) + (0.08 * xTemp) for H. sanguineus. The mass-specific respiration rates of C. maenas and H. sanguineus were quite similar. By applying the diet-dependent respiratory quotient, oxygen uptake may be used to calculate carbon uptake and metabolic energy demand either for single crabs or for entire populations of a given area. On the population level, the metabolic energy demand and thus ecosystem impact of both species depend primarily on their abundance in the field and, less so on their dietary preferences.

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Conference (Talk)
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51st European Marine Biology Symposium, 26 Sep 2016 - 30 Sep 2016, Rhodes, Greece.
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Jungblut, S. , Boos, K. , Saborowski, R. and Hagen, W. (2016): Energetic demand of the invasive crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus and the native Carcinus maenas at Helgoland, North Sea , 51st European Marine Biology Symposium, Rhodes, Greece, 26 September 2016 - 30 September 2016 .

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