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Correa M.O.D.A.,São Paulo State University | Andrade L.S.,São Paulo State University | Andrade L.S.,NEBECC Group of Studies on Crustacean Biology | Costa R.C.,NEBECC Group of Studies on Crustacean Biology | And 7 more authors.
Biologia (Poland) | Year: 2014

The ghost crab Ocypode quadrata plays an important role in energy transfer between trophic levels, and has been widely used in evaluations of impacted environments. In order to provide data on the biology of this potential bioindicator species, the population structure and vertical distribution of individuals were studied on two beaches in southeastern Brazil. Each beach was divided into quadrants of 1000 m2 with boundaries of upper, middle and lower levels in relation to the waterline. Collected monthly by active searching through one year, the specimens of O. quadrata were sexed, measured for carapace width, and returned to the beach. Of the total of 1904 specimens collected, the largest proportion (46.2%) were males, followed by 31.4% juveniles. The vertical distribution of the ghost crabs differed among age groups: males mostly occupied the middle and upper levels; adult females, ovigerous or not, were more abundant in the lower level; and juveniles were evenly distributed in all levels, with a slight tendency toward the middle. The sex ratio favored males in a few months of the year and in the larger size classes. The abundance of O. quadrata is limited by low temperatures, and its spatial and temporal distribution is controlled by food availability and ease of reproduction. Knowledge of the biology of these crabs is essential in order to use them as a bioindicator species; the vertical distribution patterns may reflect changes in the beach hydrodynamics or other environmental factors. © 2014 Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien.

De Paiva Barros-Alves S.,São Paulo State University | De Paiva Barros-Alves S.,NEBECC Group of Studies on Crustacean Biology | Alves D.F.R.,São Paulo State University | Alves D.F.R.,NEBECC Group of Studies on Crustacean Biology | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2013

The population biology of Epialtus bituberculatus was compared between two different intertidal localities with differing levels of wave exposure. Sampling was conducted monthly between January and December, 2001 on seaweed banks of Sargassum cymosum in the intertidal zone of the rocky shores Grande (GR) (23°23′S-45°03′W) and Domingas Dias (DD) (23°29′S-45°08′W). Four hundred and twenty-eight crabs were captured at the GR site: 111 juvenile males, 106 adult males, 57 juvenile females, 17 adult females and 137 ovigerous females; while 455 specimens were obtained at the DD site: 76 juvenile males, 113 adult males, 37 juvenile females, 40 adult females and 189 ovigerous females. The population from GR showed a non-normal distribution and from DD a normal distribution. The sex-ratio (female/male) was 1:0.97 at GR (χ2 = 0.77, P = 0.084), whereas it was 1:1.41 at DD (χ2 = 13.03, P < 0.001). The largest individuals occurred at DD (U = 78249.0, P < 0.001). The estimated size at sexual maturity was 6.3 and 5.0 mm carapace width (CW) for males, and 5.4 and 5.2 mm CW for females, from GR and DD, respectively. The observed differences in E. bituberculatus between the studied localities might be explained by the different degrees of wave exposure between sites. However, other factors that might also explain the observed differences (e.g. temperature, salinity and food availability) cannot be discarded as relevant in influencing the population structure between sites herein studied. © 2012 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

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