The thermal biology of Carcinus maenas as a tool for conservation, mitigation, and invasion predictions

Biggar, Brandy S. (2021) The thermal biology of Carcinus maenas as a tool for conservation, mitigation, and invasion predictions. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfounland.

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Carcinus maenas is a thermally tolerant invasive species that have successfully colonized every continent except Antarctica. Invasive species negatively impact native species, and C. maenas, in particular, has been implicated in the local losses of several ecologically important species. Anthropogenic activities are primarily to blame for species invasions, and climate change will exacerbate their dominance over native species. In this thesis, I explore the thermal ecology of C. maenas by mapping their thermal niche, modeling changes in abundance and temperature, and synthesizing thermal limits. Using mixed modeling of global abundance data, I show that the green crab abundance is not changing globally and that their abundance is related to temperature variability. By reviewing the literature, I show that green crabs have life-stage and region-specific tolerances. Juvenile green crabs appear to be the most vulnerable stage and may be responsible for driving changes in green crab abundance. I also review knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research, including standardizing methods and resolving unknown adult thermal limits. This thesis presents Carcinus maenas as an incredibly robust species with vast thermal tolerances promoting their global invasion.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15687
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 78-113)
Keywords: green crab, Carcinus maenas, thermal biology, time series analysis, thermal niche
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Ocean Sciences
Date: November 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Carcinus maenas--Effect of temperature on; Time-series analysis

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