Mar Ecol Prog Ser Vol. 336: 211–223, (2007)
The green porcelain crab (Petrolisthes armatus) is an invasive species in the Southeastern United States that is present in staggering densities of several thousand individuals per square meter. This has generated some concern among ecologists as the crabs are most common in the oyster reef habitats that form the backbone of the area’s marine ecosystem. Research by Amanda Hollebone at the Georgia Institute of Technology has provided insight into how this non-native species is able to sustain such population densities.
Hollebone sampled P. armatus populations throughout its new range and found that the females were reproducing at smaller sizes than in the native range. In addition, she found that the percentage of reproducing females was similar in both ranges despite much higher population densities in the invaded regions. These results suggest that the expanded P. armatus populations are more than capable of sustaining themselves through reproduction without the support of future immigrations.