King crab habitat increases due to warming in Arctic
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King crab habitat increases due to warming in Arctic

September 05, 2022

Crab larvae survive at a temperature of six degrees.

ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Climate change in the Arctic, observed in recent decades, will affect the red king crab population. This was stated by scientists from the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute (MMBI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences following a study published in the international publication Water.

According to Vladimir Dvoretsky, the RAS MMBI Plankton Laboratory specialist, candidate of biological sciences, the reason for the population growth may be “the increased tolerance of crab development planktonic stages to warming sea water temperatures”:

“For each of the larval stages, mass mortality was not observed even at temperatures close to the sea water freezing point: minus 1.7°C. In addition, laboratory observations have shown that king crab larvae survive very well even at higher temperatures, 6°C. This indicates a high probability of larvae further spread to the north of the Barents sea and to more eastern regions.”

The scientist claims that the number and survival of king crab larvae in the Barents sea depend on the quality and quantity of food, as well as environmental conditions: water temperature and the nature of circulation and climatic influences, which can have both positive and negative effects on survival.

Now the king crab is found in the Barents Sea southern part’s coastal waters, along the Norway coast and the Kola peninsula northeast. Also, the first finds of crustaceans have been recently made in the White sea, which indicates the ongoing expansion of the range.

The data obtained, the scientists stressed, also indicate a high reproductive potential and a high ability to support rapid population growth in new areas.

Earlier, This Is Taimyr wrote that the Arctic becomes a hot spot of global warming. Climate change in the Arctic is happening four times faster than in the rest of the world. Grass grows in the tundra instead of reindeer moss. We also told about polar bears learning to survive in the changing conditions in the Arctic.

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Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, Photo: istockphoto.com

September 05, 2022

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