Compensatory partitioning of carbon budgets by the grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) and implications for predator prey relationships

Josh Stout, Gary Taghon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Carbon utilization and allocation were examined between two populations of shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) to determine the possible effects of living in an area of high anthropogenic impact. Carbon assimilation has been studied in P. pugio, but no study has looked at how assimilation might be influenced by contaminants. Anthropogenic effects on carbon assimilation in grass shrimp represent a major unmeasured impact on the carbon budget of multi-cellular organisms in estuaries and near shore environments. The influence of anthropogenic contamination on carbon assimilation has implications for predicting the environmental impact of contaminants, for models of estuarine function, and trophic transfer from the dominant macroscopic detritus processor to species of direct economic importance. Shrimp budgets were compared between two populations, one from a highly polluted marsh creek system in Northern New Jersey, and one from a clean reference site in Southern New Jersey. All components of the carbon budgets were measured directly including carbon allocated to reproduction. Carbon lost to respiration was lower in shrimp from the polluted system allowing them to have increased reproductive output. This is examined in the context of previous studies that show lowered predation by a piscine predator at the polluted site, resulting in a trophic cascade and changes in ecosystem function due to anthropogenic impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalCentral European Journal of Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


  • Carbon
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Estuary
  • Palaemonetes
  • Shrimp metabolism
  • Toxicology
  • Trophic cascade

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