The European Shore Crab

The European Shore Crab - The European Shore Crab By: Troy...

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The European Shore Crab By: Troy Zitzelsberger
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The European Shore Crab By: Troy Zitzelsberger Invasive species can potentially cause major economic and ecological problems in their non native habitats. These invaders can disrupt the natural ecosystem by making the native organisms compete with them for food and territory. One particular invasive species that has been causing many problems is the European shore crab which is known in the scientific community as Carcinus maenas (European Shore Crab). The European shore crab or green crab is native to the Atlantic coast of Europe and also North Africa. It is a highly adaptable species since it can live in waters with a wide range in both temperatures, from freezing to thirty degrees Celsius, and salinity, from 1.4 to 54 parts per thousand (Management Plan). The green crab is usually found in tidal marshes, rocky shores, and sand flats (Green Crab). In its native region, the green crab eats many different organisms such as mussels, clams, algae, barnacles, isopods and other crabs (Carcinus maenas). Through the live food trade, ship ballast water, pet trade, aquarium trade, and ship or boat hull fouling the European shore crab has made its way to places such as Australia, Tasmania, and North America (NIMPIS). The green crab is considered a nuisance because it is disrupting the natural ecosystem through making native species compete with them for both food and territory and it is disrupting the economy by eating commercially traded clams and scallops. In all of these different areas, the European shore crab has had some type of an impact both ecologically, through forcing native species to compete for food and by eating native species, and economically, through eating commercially traded seafood and clogging up fishing traps. Since the green crab has a wide range of environmental tolerances, such as being able to live in a wide range of both salinity and temperature, and the capability to out compete native species for food they can alter there foreign ecosystem (NIMPIS). Examples of this can be seen
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in the United States everywhere from Maine and Connecticut to California. In Connecticut, the green crab has limited scallop populations by being responsible for up to seventy percent of their mortality which has drastically impacted the fishing industry. This tremendous commercial fishery decrease which has been caused by European shore crab predation has amounted to an estimated loss of over forty four million dollars (NAS). The green crab has also impacted the fishing industry in Maine by being responsible for much of the reduction of their soft shell clam
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course ISB 208L taught by Professor Tarrant during the Spring '08 term at Michigan State University.

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The European Shore Crab - The European Shore Crab By: Troy...

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