Feeding Habits and Short-Term Mobility Patterns of Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, Across Invaded Habitats of the Ebro Delta Subjected to Contrasting Salinity
The blue crab Callinectes sapidus was first observed in the Ebro Delta in 2012 and since then captures have increased exponentially up to over 2 t per day, while its presence remains low in other Catalonian estuarine areas. Here, we use a stable isotope approach (δ15N and δ13C) to explore the dietary habits of adult blue crab in four different invaded habitats—bays, coastal lagoons, rice field drainage channels, and the Ebro River—in order to assess the strength of bottom-up forces and identify risks for native and aquaculture species, as well as patterns of site fidelity (male individuals). Mixing models showed average contributions of 35.89% from organic matter in sediments, 34.25% from animal resources (fish, crustaceans, gastropods, and bivalves), and 23.84% from vegetal resources (aquatic plants and algae), although there were important differences across habitat sites. In sites where bivalves were available, they can represent up to ca. 75% of the diet, thus threatening natural banks and local oyster and mussel farms. The average estimated trophic position of blue crabs in those sites was only 2.8, which confirms an omnivorous behavior but also can be attributed to the fact that mollusks were rare in the majority of the areas sampled in the Ebro Delta. Crabs from the same habitat site exhibited very little isotopic variability, suggesting that they remain in those environments long enough to reflect local salinity conditions. Overall, our results suggest that blue crabs are likely using all locally available resources and remain in certain sites, even when preferred animal preys are scarce and low-quality items are the main dietary option.
574 - General ecology and biodiversity
Is part of
Estuaries and Coasts
Prado, Patricia, Carles Ibáñez, Lucy Chen, and Nuno Caiola. 2021. "Feeding Habits And Short-Term Mobility Patterns Of Blue Crab, Callinectes Sapidus, Across Invaded Habitats Of The Ebro Delta Subjected To Contrasting Salinity". Estuaries And Coasts. doi:10.1007/s12237-021-01004-2.
Grant agreement number
MICIU-AEI/Programa Estatal de generación del conocimiento y fortalecimiento científico y tecnológico del sistema I+D+I y Programa Estatal de I+D+I orientada a los retos de la sociedad/PID2020-118476RR-C21/ES/ /ECESIS
Aigües Marines i Continentals
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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