Scientists are hoping to speed up efforts to stop the invasion of European green crabs in Puget Sound.
The latest research uses the tiny hearts of green crabs collected in Puget Sound in order to connect their genetics to established populations elsewhere.
“We would be much more effective if we could identify the source for the green crab we’re finding. Because green crab come into Puget Sound waters as little tiny larvae floating on ocean currents. If we could identify where those larvae are coming from, we could do a much more effective job of eliminating them,” explained UW researcher Sean McDonald.
The crabs might be small, but they can multiply fast and destroy habitat, digging into eel grass beds and turning them into mush. Those areas are important for native species like Dungeness crab and salmon. Click on the following sentence to access the full story.
“Once green crabs get into an area and become really well established, it becomes almost, if not impossible, to actually get rid of them. Right now is really the best time and the only chance we have to effectively intervene if we’re going to make a difference in the possible outcome of this invasion,” Emily Grason said.