Seasonal lipid storage and dietary preferences of native European versus invasive Asian shore crabs


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Reinhard.Saborowski [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The invasive Asian shore crab Hemigrapsus sanguineus and the native European green crab Carcinus maenas share intertidal habitats along European North Atlantic shores and may compete for food. We evaluated the energy-storing capacities of the 2 species and determined their dietary preferences by means of lipid analysis and fatty acid trophic marker indices. Specimens of both sexes and various sizes were sampled in the rocky intertidal of the island of Helgoland (North Sea) in April, June, August, and October 2015. Total lipids of the midgut glands were significantly higher in H. sanguineus than in C. maenas and followed a distinct seasonal cycle in both sexes (ca. 20−50% of dry mass, DM). The lower lipid contents of C. maenas (ca. 20% of DM) remained at a similar level throughout the seasons. The seasonal differences in the females of H. sanguineus may be due to higher reproductive output and, consequently, lipid turnover, but remain unexplained in males. Trophic indices for Bacillariophyceae, Chlorophyta, and especially Phaeophyceae were higher in H. sanguineus than in C. maenas, suggesting a higher degree of herbivory of the invader. In contrast, the Rhodophyta index was higher in C. maenas. Thus, competition for food between the 2 species will probably be low in habitats rich in macroalgae. The ability of H. sanguineus to utilize mainly energy-poor algae but accumulate high-energy reserves may be an advantage for successfully establishing persistent populations in new habitats.



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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
47872
DOI 10.3354/meps12712

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Jungblut, S. , McCarthy, M. , Boos, K. , Saborowski, R. and Hagen, W. (2018): Seasonal lipid storage and dietary preferences of native European versus invasive Asian shore crabs , Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 602 , pp. 169-181 . doi: 10.3354/meps12712


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