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Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis in the Baltic Sea - a supply-side invader?
Ojaveer, H.; Gollasch, S.; Jaanus, A.; Kotta, J.; Laine, A.O.; Minde, A.; Normant, M.; Panov, V.E. (2007). Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis in the Baltic Sea - a supply-side invader? Biological Invasions 9(4): 409-418.
In: Biological Invasions. Springer: London. ISSN 1387-3547; e-ISSN 1573-1464, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 121350 [ MOA ]

Author keywords
    Baltic Sea basin; catadromous alien species; Chinese mitten crab;spatio-temporal distribution; migration

Authors  Top 
  • Ojaveer, H., more
  • Gollasch, S., more
  • Jaanus, A.
  • Kotta, J., more
  • Laine, A.O.
  • Minde, A.
  • Normant, M.
  • Panov, V.E., more

    Although the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis (H. Milne-Edwards, 1853) (Crustacea, Decapoda, Varunidae) invaded the Baltic Sea about 80 years ago, published information on its present distribution and abundance in this region is lacking. We provide here information on its Baltic-wide distribution and long-term population dynamics. The species has been found all over the coastal Baltic Sea and also in some adjacent rivers and lakes. The Chinese mitten crab appears to have increased in abundance in recent years in the northeastern part of the Baltic Sea (Gulf of Finland, Gulf of Riga, northern Baltic Proper). Higher catch rates were observed in spring (April-June) and autumn (September-November). The size variation of crabs in different samples was low (mean carapace width 6.1-6.3 cm). Despite findings of gravid females, the reproduction of the mitten crab in the central, northern and eastern Baltic region is considered unlikely due to low salinity and the individuals caught are assumed to actively migrate into the region from the species’ main European distribution area (southeastern North Sea), certainly over 1500 km migration distance. Thus, the dynamics of the North Sea population is probably regulating, at least in part, the occurrence of the Chinese mitten crab in the Baltic Sea area.

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