, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 289–297 | Cite as

The trophic position of the alien crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii (crustacea decapoda panopeidae) in the Taman Bay, Sea of Azov community

  • A. K. Zalota
  • G. A. Kolyuchkina
  • A. V. Tiunov
  • S. V. Biriukova
  • V. A. Spiridonov
Marine Biology


This work concerns the trophic web positioning of the alien crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii and other common marine invertebrate species and fishes in the benthic ecosystem of the shallows of Taman Bay, Sea of Azov. The base of the trophic web in this system is composed of phytoplankton, macrophytes (algae and marine grasses), and reeds that use atmospheric carbon for photosynthesis. Analysis of the isotopic composition of nitrogen and carbon has shown that although marine grasses are dominating primary producers in the shallows of the bay, primary consumers (such as Cerastoderma glaucum, Porifera gen. sp., Gammarus aequicauda, Deshayesorchestia deshayesii and Idotea balthica) only partially use this organic source; instead, they use a combination of different sources of primary production. It has been shown that the food source of the alien crab is primarily of animal origin. In Taman Bay, R. harrisii is on the same trophic level as other carnivores/scavengers: benthic fishes Syngnathus nigrolineatus, Gobius spp. and native crab Pilumnus hirtellus and shrimp Palaemon adspersus.


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. K. Zalota
    • 1
  • G. A. Kolyuchkina
    • 1
  • A. V. Tiunov
    • 2
  • S. V. Biriukova
    • 3
  • V. A. Spiridonov
    • 1
  1. 1.Shirshov Institute of OceanologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Azov Branch, Murmansk Marine Biological Institute, Kola Scienific CenterRussian Academy of SciencesRostov-on-DonRussia

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