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

Wright, JT ORCID: 0000-0002-1085-4582, Holmes, ZC and Byers, JE 2018 , 'Stronger positive association between an invasive crab and a native intertidal ecosystem engineer with increasing wave exposure' , Marine Environmental Research, vol. 142 , pp. 124-129 , doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.09.025.

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Abstract

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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Wright, JT and Holmes, ZC and Byers, JE
Keywords: crabs, ecosystem engineer, facilitation, Galeolaria caespitosa, introduced species, Petrolisthes elongatus, Tasmania, wave exposure
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Environmental Research
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN: 0141-1136
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.09.025
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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