Sep 12, 2013

Burrow morphology of Uca uruguayensis and Uca leptodactylus (Decapoda: Ocypodidae) from a subtropical mangrove forest in the western Atlantic

Integrative Zoology
Glauco B O MachadoTânia M Costa


The continuous excavation of burrows by fiddler crabs generates bioturbation in the sediment, which can be estimated from burrow morphology. The aim of the present study was to describe the burrow morphology of Uca uruguayensis and U. leptodactylus and its relationship with demography of resident individuals and to estimate the level of bioturbation in the sediment generated by each species. For all individuals from each of the 2 species, sex was determined and the carapace width (CW; mm) measured. Burrows were characterized according to burrow diameter (BD; mm), maximum burrow depth (MBD; mm) and burrow volume (BV; cm(3) ). The density of each species in the study area was also evaluated. In both species, the males were larger and occupied burrows with higher BV compared to females. Differences between sexes in relation to the burrow characteristics might reflect sexual dimorphism within the group and are probably related to the fact that males use the burrows for mating. BD and BV showed significant positive relationships with the size of resident crabs. The amount of sediment removed per burrow was estimated from mean BV: 10.78 cm(3) of sediment/burrow for U. uruguayensis and 12.38 cm(3) of sediment/burrow for U. leptodactyl...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Sediments, Marine
Science of Morphology
Uca uruguayensis
Decapoda (Crustacea)
Sexual Dimorphism

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