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Aquatic Biology

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Schematic model of the salinity tolerance of different ontogenetic stages of Hemigrapsus takanoi from the south-western Baltic Sea. Image by: O. M. Nour (modified from Walther et al. 2010)

Nour OM, Pansch C, Lenz M, Wahl M, Clemmesen C, Stumpp M


Impaired larval development at low salinities could limit the spread of the non-native crab Hemigrapsus takanoi in the Baltic Sea

Previous studies showed that non-native species are generally tolerant to a wide range of salinities, and that they tend to be more resistant to stressful conditions than native species. Nour and colleagues tested the salinity tolerance of a recent invader crab, Hemigrapsus takanoi, in the south western Baltic Sea across eight salinity levels (0 to 35) and across three life-history stages (larvae, juveniles and adults) to assess its future potential to invade the brackish Baltic Sea. The results revealed a strong influence of salinity on the earliest developmental stages. The development of larvae was only completed in salinities between 20 and 35, while juveniles and adults tolerated salinities as low as 5. Salinity likely represents a hurdle for a further invasion into the central and eastern Baltic Sea, in particular for the larval stages of H. takanoi.


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