Additional records and distribution (2011-2012) of Hemigrapsus sanguineus (De Haan, 18353) along the French coast of the English channel
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The invasion process can be described as a succession of stages initiated by the transport of organisms from their native range to a new area where they persist, proliferate and spread. It is important to monitor the demographic development of invaders for management purposes. This study focuses on the different stages of population development during the invasion process and underlines the importance of understanding and monitoring the 'persistence phase'. The distribution of Hemigrapsus sanguineus (Asian shore crab) in the English Channel, along the French coast, was first undertaken in 2008. In 2010, 35 sites were surveyed and it appeared that the abundance of this species had already established a 2-5 fold increase since 2008. The present study presents the geographical distribution of H. sanguineus in 2011 and 2012 which includes a further 39 sites (72 sampling stations in 2012). All populations observed during previous years persisted in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, H. sanguineus was detected at 61 sites; 36 intensely colonised (including 3 newly colonised sites compared to 2011); 22 had trace numbers and 3 sites had 'proven presence'. In addition to males with carapaces up to 39 mm width (CW), abundances increased by a factor of 2 since 2010, which testifies for the naturalized status of the species along the French coast of the English Channel. Since 2008, La Hougue proved to be the most abundantly colonised site along the French coast. By 2011 it had an average density of 101ᱹ ind.m-2, with an abundance of 258ᵴ individuals (under 30 boulders). Populations were subsequently halved in 2012. Increasing densities and abundances recorded between 2008 and 2011 at la Hougue suggest that H. sanguineus had reached the 'expansion phase', but the dynamics of H. sanguineus populations at the most colonised sites (12 sampling sites with abundance >200 individuals under 30 boulders), suggest that maximum values had already peaked and that the 'persistence phase' was probably reached. The implementation of pluri-annual surveys seems of prime importance to correctly evaluate population dynamics of alien species.
Management of Biological Invasions
Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)