DV-05-001 Assembling the History of a Marine Invasive Species in Maine: Water Temperature as a Predictor of Green Crab (Carcinus maenas) Outbreaks from 1956-2005

C. Drew Harvell and Robin Hadlock Seeley
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

Green crabs are a major predator of juvenile and adult soft-shell clams, and therefore are a concern for fisheries managers and harvesters. The effects of sea surface temperature on green crab distribution and abundance in Maine are unknown. This project will correlate long-term temperature and species abundance data to understand sea temperature effects on green crab populations in two areas of Maine where clamming is impacted by green crab predation. The study may also generate useful information for clam diggers and municipalities as they work to restore or maintain strong clam populations for harvest. Knowledge gained may help managers understand why clam re-seeding efforts fail at one site and are successful elsewhere, which could contribute to sustainable fisheries management.

1-year project: $2,500