Blue Crab - Clam - Fish Interactions

feeding tag on a crab eating a clam

We use extensive experimental approaches and innovative biotelemetry techniques to assess predator-prey interactions of blue crabs, fish and infaunal bivalves in the Rhode River subestuary of Chesapeake Bay. We also assess cannibalism of juveniles by adult blue crabs. We have detailed experimental analysis of indirect effects of non-lethal fish nipping bivalve siphons on lethal predation by blue crabs. Our work provides sophisticated quantitative analysis of the interactions of prey species, sediment type, and prey density on the persistence of prey encountering intense predation. We are using this predator-prey system to test theoretical models of predator foraging behavior in response to prey patches, including analyses of functional response, aggregative response, optimal foraging on patches, switching behavior, and other models. This research has been funded by a series of grants from NSF, National and Maryland Sea Grant Programs, Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund, and NOAA Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Program.



Effects of hypoxia on predator-prey dynamics of the blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus ) and the Baltic clam ( Macoma balthica ) in Chesapeake Bay.
Seitz, R.D., L.S. Marshall Jr., A.H. Hines, and K.L. Clark. 2003.
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Density-dependent predation, habitat variation, and the persistence of marine bivalve prey.
Seitz, R.D., R.N. Lipcius, A.H. Hines, and D.B. Eggleston. 2001.
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Foraging behavior of an estuarine predator, the blue crab Callinectes sapidus in a patchy environment.
Clark, M.E., T.G. Wolcott, D.L. Wolcott, and A.H. Hines. 2000
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Intraspecific interference among foraging blue crabs Callinectes sapidus : interactive effects of predator density and prey patch distribution.
Clark, M.E., T.G. Wolcott, D.L. Wolcott, and A.H. Hines. 1999

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Density-dependent predation by blue crabs upon infaunal clams with contrasting distribution and abundance patterns. >
Eggleston, D.B., R.N. Lipcius, and A.H. Hines. 1992.
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The effect of cheliped loss on blue crab ( Callinectes sapidus Rathbun) foraging rate on soft-shell clams ( Mya arenaria L.).
Smith, L.D. and A.H. Hines. 1991.
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Variable Functional Responses of a Marine Predator in Dissimilar Homogeneous Microhabitats.
R.N. Lipcius, and A.H. Hines. 1986.
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