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Spatial and temporal patterns of subtidal and intertidal crabs excursions

Spatial and temporal patterns of subtidal and intertidal crabs excursions
Spatial and temporal patterns of subtidal and intertidal crabs excursions
Highly mobile predators such as fish and crabs are known to migrate from the subtidal zone to forage in the intertidal zone at high-tide. The extent and variation of these habitat linking movements along the vertical shore gradient have not been examined before for several species simultaneously, hence not accounting for species interactions. Here, the foraging excursions of Carcinus maenas (L.), Necora puber (Linnaeus, 1767) and Cancer pagurus (Linnaeus, 1758) were assessed in a one-year mark-recapture study on two replicated rocky shores in southwest U.K. A comparison between the abundance of individuals present on the shore at high-tide with those present in refuges exposed at low-tide indicated considerable intertidal migration by all species, showing strong linkage between subtidal and intertidal habitats. Estimates of population size based on recapture of marked individuals indicated that an average of ~ 4000 individuals combined for the three crab species, can be present on the shore during one tidal cycle. There was also a high fidelity of individuals and species to particular shore levels. Underlying mechanisms for these spatial patterns such as prey availability and agonistic interactions are discussed. Survival rates were estimated using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model from multi-recapture analysis and found to be considerably high with a minimum of 30% for all species. Growth rates were found to vary intraspecifically with size and between seasons. Understanding the temporal and spatial variations in predation pressure by crabs on rocky shores is dependent on knowing who, when and how many of these commercially important crab species depend on intertidal foraging. Previous studies have shown that the diet of these species is strongly based on intertidal prey including key species such as limpets; hence intertidal crab migration could be associated with considerable impacts on intertidal assemblages.
1385-1101
343-348
Silva, A.C.F.
2182db33-ed20-4228-be4f-3b99483dafb0
Boaventura, D.M.
27b71323-5219-46d2-b1b0-0e1675933763
Thompson, R.C.
d632e905-6f51-49a0-9426-13c42c3d0a18
Hawkins, S.J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa
Silva, A.C.F.
2182db33-ed20-4228-be4f-3b99483dafb0
Boaventura, D.M.
27b71323-5219-46d2-b1b0-0e1675933763
Thompson, R.C.
d632e905-6f51-49a0-9426-13c42c3d0a18
Hawkins, S.J.
758fe1c1-30cd-4ed1-bb65-2471dc7c11fa

Silva, A.C.F., Boaventura, D.M., Thompson, R.C. and Hawkins, S.J. (2014) Spatial and temporal patterns of subtidal and intertidal crabs excursions. Journal of Sea Research, 85, 343-348. (doi:10.1016/j.seares.2013.06.006).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Highly mobile predators such as fish and crabs are known to migrate from the subtidal zone to forage in the intertidal zone at high-tide. The extent and variation of these habitat linking movements along the vertical shore gradient have not been examined before for several species simultaneously, hence not accounting for species interactions. Here, the foraging excursions of Carcinus maenas (L.), Necora puber (Linnaeus, 1767) and Cancer pagurus (Linnaeus, 1758) were assessed in a one-year mark-recapture study on two replicated rocky shores in southwest U.K. A comparison between the abundance of individuals present on the shore at high-tide with those present in refuges exposed at low-tide indicated considerable intertidal migration by all species, showing strong linkage between subtidal and intertidal habitats. Estimates of population size based on recapture of marked individuals indicated that an average of ~ 4000 individuals combined for the three crab species, can be present on the shore during one tidal cycle. There was also a high fidelity of individuals and species to particular shore levels. Underlying mechanisms for these spatial patterns such as prey availability and agonistic interactions are discussed. Survival rates were estimated using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model from multi-recapture analysis and found to be considerably high with a minimum of 30% for all species. Growth rates were found to vary intraspecifically with size and between seasons. Understanding the temporal and spatial variations in predation pressure by crabs on rocky shores is dependent on knowing who, when and how many of these commercially important crab species depend on intertidal foraging. Previous studies have shown that the diet of these species is strongly based on intertidal prey including key species such as limpets; hence intertidal crab migration could be associated with considerable impacts on intertidal assemblages.

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More information

Published date: January 2014
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 362305
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/362305
ISSN: 1385-1101
PURE UUID: 27aebc56-7526-4731-8c0f-29d182fa927f

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 19 Feb 2014 14:39
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:12

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