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Stronger positive association between an invasive crab and a native intertidal ecosystem engineer with increasing wave exposure


Wright, JT and Holmes, ZC and Byers, JE, Stronger positive association between an invasive crab and a native intertidal ecosystem engineer with increasing wave exposure, Marine Environmental Research, 142 pp. 124-129. ISSN 0141-1136 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.09.025


Ecosystem engineers are predicted to have stronger facilitative effects when environmental stress is higher. Here we examined whether facilitation of the invasive porcelain crab Petrolisthes elongatus by the ecosystem engineering serpulid tube worm Galeolaria caespitosa increased with wave exposure. Petrolisthes occurs beneath intertidal boulders which often have a high cover of Galeolaria on their underside. Surveys across nine sites demonstrated Petrolisthes abundance beneath boulders increased with wave exposure and Galeolaria cover, although only when the habitat matrix beneath boulders was rock or mixed rock and sand. Moreover, as wave exposure increased, the strength of relationship between Petrolisthes abundance and the surface area of Galeolaria also increased. Experimentally, the presence of Galeolaria on the underside of boulders increased Petrolisthes abundance by 50% compared to boulders lacking Galeolaria. Our findings suggest the facilitative role of Galeolaria is stronger at more wave-exposed sites, which appears to contribute to a higher abundance of invasive Petrolisthes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:crabs, ecosystem engineer, facilitation, Galeolaria caespitosa, introduced species, Petrolisthes elongatus, Tasmania, wave exposure
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in coastal and estuarine environments
UTAS Author:Wright, JT (Associate Professor Jeffrey Wright)
ID Code:129317
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2018-11-23
Last Modified:2018-12-17

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