Pushing the limits: Asian shore crabs Hemigrapsus spp. in northwest Europe

simon.jungblut [ at ] awi.de


The Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus and its congener, the Asian brush-clawed crab H. takanoi, were first found in Europe in 1999 and 1994, respectively. Hemigrapsus sanguineus was initially detected in Le Havre (France) and in the Oosterschelde (The Netherlands). Now it occurs from northern France to the German Wadden Sea. Hemigrapsus takanoi was originally found in La Rochelle (France) and is now established from the Bay of Biscay to the German Wadden Sea. In 2014, a Baltic Sea population was detected in Kiel Fjord (Germany), most likely introduced via the Kiel Canal. Here we summarize the most recent findings on the northern expansion of H. sanguineus and H. takanoi and their competition with the native counterpart, the green shore crab Carcinus maenas. Two population studies in the intertidal areas around the rocky island of Helgoland and the Wadden Sea island of Sylt (Germany) revealed that the three species favor different levels of wave exposure. Our studies presented the highest densities of Hemigrapsus spp. in Europe so far with 144 H. sanguineus m-2 on Helgoland, and more than 200 ind. m-2 of either species on Sylt. The Baltic population of H. takanoi is increasing in Kiel Fjord and adjacent bays. Individuals of H. takanoi were recently found in Wismar Bay, further east along the Baltic coast. In the framework of a citizen-science project, specimen of both species were found at the Swedish west coast, representing the northernmost records in Europe so far. The success of established populations and the continuous extension of the distribution areas suggest that the presence and impact of both Hemigrapsus species on European coasts will significantly increase in the future.

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Conference (Talk)
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18. Crustaceologen-Tagung, 30 Mar 2017 - 02 Apr 2017, Berlin.
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Jungblut, S. , Geburzi, J. , Beermann, J. , Berggren, M. , Boos, K. , Weiler, N. , Mölle, J. , Buschbaum, C. , Saborowski, R. and Hagen, W. (2017): Pushing the limits: Asian shore crabs Hemigrapsus spp. in northwest Europe , 18. Crustaceologen-Tagung, Berlin, 30 March 2017 - 2 April 2017 .

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