Biotic and abiotic factors affecting the Tasmanian distribution and density of the introduced New Zealand porcelain crab Petrolisthes elongatus
Gregory, LP and Campbell, ML and Primo, C and Hewitt, CL, Biotic and abiotic factors affecting the Tasmanian distribution and density of the introduced New Zealand porcelain crab Petrolisthes elongatus, Aquatic Invasions, 7, (4) pp. 491-501. ISSN 1798-6540 (2012) [Refereed Article]
Petrolisthes elongatus (Milne-Edwards, 1837) was first introduced into southern Tasmania in the late 19th century putatively associated with
live-oyster transfers from New Zealand. In the last century P. elongatus populations have expanded, inoculating rocky intertidal zones
around Tasmania. We initially identified the scope of P. elongatus introduced range around Tasmania by visiting 57 sites to identify
presence. Density of P. elongatus and populations of two native grapsid crab species was assessed at 12 sites around Tasmania to identify
any biotic resistance. Abiotic factors including substrate availability and preference, and wave stress, were identified at each of the 57 sites.
Our results indicate that P. elongatus has successfully invaded a large proportion of the southern and northern coasts of Tasmania, with a
small number of sites on the east and none on the west coast supporting P. elongatus populations. Densities were found to be higher in
southern Tasmania compared to the eastern and northern coastlines. Petrolisthes elongatus presence was found to be positively correlated
with native grapsid crab presence, however, no statistically significant relationship was found between densities at scales of site or quadrat.
Abiotic factors have been identified as the primary drivers of Petrolisthes distribution patterns.
marine, introduced species, population density, biotic resistance, habitat preference