A male fiddler crab (Uca panacea) sits inside an experimental mesocosm that investigated crude oil impacts. Credit: M.E. Franco, University of Louisiana, Lafayette.

Study Finds Oil Impacts on Fiddler Crabs May Also Affect Broader Marsh Health

Scientists conducted mesocosm experiments to explore how crude oil affects marsh-dwelling fiddler crabs, classified as ecosystem engineers or bioturbators. The researchers tested impacts of various oil concentrations to mimic light (L) to heavy (H) oiling scenarios, with fiddler crabs experiencing more acute impacts at higher oil concentrations and less at lower concentrations.