INTRODUCTION The Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne Edwards, 1853 is an indigenous species in East Asia, with a native distribution along the eastern Pacific coast of China. Yet it has spread from its native range to coastal ecosystems throughout Europe and, most recently, into North America. The high invasive potential of the E. sinensis in the World’s river systems might be, in a large part, attributed to its extremely euryhaline and catadromous life cycle (Bentley, 2011). Adult crabs spend most of their lives growing in freshwater but must migrate downstream towards the estuary or sea for reproduction (Zhang et al., 2001; Bentley, 2011), while the juveniles after metamorphosis start migrates upstream towards the limnic parental habitat (Herborg et al., 2003). Salinity is a key factor experienced between the two migrations for mitten crab and other species of catadromous crustaceans. Previous research has demonstrated that E. sinensis can function equally well in freshwater or marine situations (Rathmayer & Siebers, 2001). In low salinities environment, it can maintain a high osmotic gradient in haemolymph through an active uptake of ions, mainly Na + and Cl − , across the posterior gills (Péqueux & Gilles, 1988). Ion transport has
Crustaceana – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2012
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