Senior Capstone Experience by Samina L. Soin-Voshell
Submitted to the Departments of Biology and Environmental Science and Studies
Advised by Dr. Jillian Bible and Dr. Martin Connaughton
Description: The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is a small shore crab native to the Northeastern Atlantic, but successful as an invasive species around the world, including along the Northwest Atlantic coast. In its Northwest Atlantic population, C. maenas is currently present as far south as the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, an important and vulnerable estuarine system. This study examines the biotic interactions and abiotic constraints that play a role in limiting C. maenas’ present range, to better understand the potential for its future invasion of the Chesapeake Bay under climate change conditions. Using an interdisciplinary approach to understanding this crab’s role and complex interactions as an invasive species allows a more holistic projection for its future on Northwestern Atlantic shores. Ultimately, C. maenas is unlikely to successfully establish a population within the Chesapeake Bay, particularly in the context of climate change, especially if proactive and preventative management practices are employed.