Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Intraguild Predators: Behavioral Changes and Mortality of the Green Crab (Carcinus Maenas) During Interactions with the American Lobster (Homarus Americanus) and Jonah Crab (Cancer Borealis)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract The green crab Carcinus maenas invaded the Gulf of Maine over a hundred years ago and has become a well-established member of coastal ecosystems. Carcinus is most abundant in the intertidal zone despite higher availability of invertebrate prey in the nearby shallow subtidal. A previous study revealed a higher mortality rate for Carcinus in the subtidal than in the intertidal zone. Two other decapods, the American lobster Homarus americanus and Jonah crab Cancer borealis, have their highest abundance in the shallow subtidal. These three species have similar diets and predation among and within species occurs. We performed a laboratory experiment to investigate the effects of H. americanus, C. borealis, and larger conspecifics on mortality and behavior of Carcinus. Homarus americanus was the most effective predator on Carcinus, consuming 27% within 24 h. In contrast, only 5% of Carcinus were eaten by C. borealis and none by conspecifics. The presence of American lobsters had dramatic effects on Carcinus behaviors: hiding and climbing increased while walking and standing on the open substrate decreased. In contrast, Carcinus showed no significant changes of behavior in the presence of C. borealis or larger conspecifics. The consumptive and non-consumptive (behavioral) effects of lobsters on Carcinus appear to be one major cause of the scarcity of Carcinus in subtidal communities. These effects are also likely to reduce Carcinus predation on the small invertebrates that are common prey for all the large decapods in this ecosystem.

Affiliations: 1: a Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell University, G14 Stimson Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A ; 2: b Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Corson Hall, Ithaca, New York 14853, U.S.A (MJS, correspondence,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Audet D. , Davis D. S. , Miron G. , Moriyasu M. , Benhalima K. , Campbell R. 2003 "Geographical expansion of a nonindigenous crab, Carcinus maenas (L.), along the Nova Scotian shore into the southeastern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada." Journal of Shellfish Research Vol 22 255 262
2. Burrows M. T. , Gibson R. N. 1995 "The effects of food, predation risk and endogenous rhythmicity on the behavior of juvenile plaice, Pleuronectes platessa L." Animal Behavior Vol 50 41 52
3. Carlson R. L. , Shulman M. J. , Ellis J. C. 2006 "Factors contributing to spatial heterogeneity in the abundance of the common periwinkle Littorina littorea (L.)." Journal of Molluscan Studies Vol 72 149 156
4. Diehl S. , Eklov P. 1995 "Effects of piscivore-mediated habitat use on resources, diet and growth of perch." Ecology Vol 76 1712 1726
5. Donahue M. J. , Nichols A. , Santamaria C. , League-Pike P. , Krediet C. , Perez K. O. , Shulman M. J. in press "Predation risk, prey abundance and the vertical distribution of large brachyuran crabs across the intertidal-subtidal gradient in the Gulf of Maine." Journal of Crustacean Biology
6. Dumas J. V. , Witman J. D. 1993 "Predation by Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus Coues) on two rocky intertidal crab species [Carcinus meanas (L.) and Cancer irroratus Say]." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 169 89 101
7. Ellis J. C. , Chen W. , O'Keefe B. , Shulman M. J. , Witman J. D. 2005 "Predation by gulls on crabs in rocky intertidal and shallow subtidal zones of the Gulf of Maine." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 324 31 43
8. Ellis J. C. , Shulman M. J. , Wood M. , Witman J. D. , Lozyniak S. 2007 "Regulation of intertidal food webs by avian predators on New England rocky shores." Ecology Vol 88 853 863
9. Elner R. W. 1981 "Diet of Green Crab Carcinus maenas (L.) from Port Hebert, southwestern Nova Scotia." Journal of Shellfish Research Vol 1 84 94
10. Gotelli N. J. , Ellison A. M. 2004 A Primer of Ecological Statistics Sinauer Associates, Inc Sunderland, Massachusetts, U.S.A
11. Hadlock R. P. 1980 "Alarm response of the inter-tidal Snail Littorina littorea (L) to predation by the crab Carcinus maenas (L)." Biological Bulletin Vol 159 269 279
12. HilleRisLambers R. , Dieckmann U. 2003 "Competition and predation in simple food webs: intermediately strong trade-offs maximize coexistence." Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (B) Vol 270 2591 2598
13. Holmes W. G. 1991 "Predator risk affects foraging behaviour of pikas: observational and experimental evidence." Animal Behavior Vol 42 111 119
14. Holt R. D. , Huxel G. R. 2007 "Alternative prey and the dynamics of intraguild predation: theoretical perspectives." Ecology Vol 88 2706 2712
15. Holt R. D. , Polis G. A. 1997 "A theoretical framework for intraguild predation." American Naturalist Vol 149 745 764
16. Jones P. L. , Shulman M. J. 2008 "Subtidal-intertidal trophic links: American lobsters [Homarus americanus Milne-Edwards] forage in the intertidal zone on nocturnal high tides." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 361 98 103
17. Karnofsky E. B. , Atema J. , Elgin R. H. 1989 "Field observations of social-behavior, shelter use, and foraging in the lobster, Homarus americanus." Biological Bulletin Vol 176 239 246
18. Krivan V. 2000 "Optimal intraguild foraging and population stability." Theoretical Population Biology Vol 58 79 94
19. Linnæus C. 1758 "Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis." Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. pp. [1-4], 1-824. Holmiæ. (Salvius).
20. Milne Edwards H. 1837 "Histoire naturelle des Crustacés, comprenant l'anatomie, la physiologie et la classification de ces animaux." Vol 2 1 532, atl. pl. 1-42, 1-32
21. Moody K. E. , Steneck R. S. 1993 "Mechanisms of predation among large decapod crustaceans of the Gulf of Maine coast: functional vs. phylogenetic patterns." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 168 111 124
22. Novak M. 2004 "Diurnal activity in a group of Gulf of Maine decapods." Crustaceana Vol 77 603 620
23. Ojeda F. P. , Dearborn J. H. 1991 "Feeding ecology of benthic mobile predators - experimental analyses of their influence in rocky subtidal communities of the Gulf of Maine." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 149 13 44
24. Perez K. O. , Carlson R. L. , Shulman M. J. , Ellis J. C. 2009 "Why are intertidal snails rare in the subtidal? Factors affecting the vertical distribution of Littorina littorea (L.) in the Gulf of Maine." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 369 79 86
25. Polis G. A. , Holt R. D. 1992 "Intraguild predation - the dynamics of complex trophic interactions." Trends in Ecology & Evolution Vol 7 151 154
26. Polis G. A. , Myers C. A. , Holt R. D. 1989 "The ecology and evolution of intraguild Predation - potential competitors that eat each other." Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics Vol 20 297 330
27. Polis G. A. , Winemiller K. O. 1996 Food webs, Integration of patterns and dynamics Chapman and Hall New York, New York, U.S.A
28. Rangeley R. W. , Thomas M. L. H. 1987 "Predatory behavior of juvenile shore crab Carcinus maenas (L.)." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 108 191 197
29. Ropes J. W. 1968 "The feeding habits of the green crab, Carcinus meanas (L.)." Fishery Bulletin Vol 67 183 203
30. Rossong M. A. , Williams P. J. , Comeau M. , Mitchell S. C. , Apaloo J. 2006 "Agonistic interactions between the invasive green crab, Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus) and juvenile American lobster, Homarus americanus (Milne Edwards)." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 329 281 288
31. Sainte-Marie B. , Chabot D. 2002 "Ontogenetic shifts in natural diet during benthic stages of American lobster (Homarus americanus) off the Magdalen Islands." Fishery Bulletin Vol 100 106 116
32. Say T. 1817-1818 "An account of the Crustacea of the United States." Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia Vol 1 (1)(1817) (2)(1818) 57 63 65 80 97 101 155 169 235 253 313 319 374 401 423 444 445 458, pl. 4
33. Seeley R. H. 1986 "Intense natural selection caused a rapid morphological transition in a living marine snail." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Vol 83 6897 6901
34. Spanier E. , MaKenzie T. P. , Cobb J. S. , Clancy M. 1998 "Behavior of juvenile American lobsters, Homarus americanus, under predation risk." Marine Biology Vol 130 397 406
35. Stimpson W. 1859 "Notes on North American Crustacea, No. I." Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York Vol 7 49 94, pl. 1
36. Taylor C. C. , Bigelow H. B. , Graham H. W. 1957 "Climatic trends and the distribution of marine animals in New England." U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fishery Bulletin Vol 57 293 345
37. Trussell G. C. , Ewanchuk P. J. , Matassa C. M. 2006 "The fear of being eaten reduces energy transfer in a simple food chain." Ecology Vol 87 2979 2984[2979:TFOBER]2.0.CO;2
38. Wahle R. A. , Steneck R. S. 1992 "Habitat restrictions in early benthic life - experiments on habitat selection and in situ predation with the American Lobster." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 157 91 114
39. Warner G. F. , Jones A. R. 1976 "Leverage and muscle type in crab chelae (Crustacea-Brachyura)." Journal of Zoology Vol 180 57 68
40. Werner E. E. , Peacor S. D. 2003 "A review of trait-mediated indirect interactions in ecological communities." Ecology Vol 84 1083 1100[1083:AROTII]2.0.CO;2
41. Williams P. J. , Floyd T. A. , Rossong M. A. 2006 "Agonistic interactions between invasive green crabs, Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus), and sub-adult American lobsters, Homarus americanus (Milne Edwards)." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 329 66 74

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Crustacean Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation