open house crab

Green crabs can’t take the heat, especially when the blues are around

Environmental factors such as temperature can directly affect the geographic range of particular species, but less is known about what may indirectly affect their distribution. Research recently appearing in Ecology from the Kimbro and Gouhier Labs suggests that invasive green crabs can outcompete native blue crabs for resources in colder temperatures. However, it’s not just the temperature keeping green crabs at bay in warmer waters. Blue crabs can not only outcompete green crabs at warmer temperatures, but they also consume green crabs directly. Blue crabs, which are harvested commercially and recreationally, may also increase in abundance with increasing water temperatures, and this may act to suppress the abundance of invasive green crabs in the Northeast.

Marine and Environmental Sciences