Geist, Simon J, Nordhaus, Inga and Hinrichs, Saskia (2012) Occurrence of species-rich crab fauna in a human-impacted mangrove forest questions the application of community analysis as an environmental assessment tool. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 96 . pp. 69-80. DOI

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Diversity and composition of the intertidal brachyuran crab community in the Segara Anakan Lagoon (SAL), Java, Indonesia, during the dry season of 2005 and the rainy season of 2006, shows that crab community composition and structure alone appeared to be poor indicators for the state of a forest in terms of tree diversity and wood-cutting intensity. The lagoon is surrounded by the largest mangrove stand in Java and is under constant anthropogenic pressure, mainly due to logging, land conversion for agriculture, overfishing and industrial pollution. This study aims to determine the crab community composition at different sites of the lagoon in relation to vegetation composition and sediment parameters. In addition it investigates if mangrove crabs can be used as bioindicators to describe the environmental state of mangrove forests (tree diversity, degree of logging). It was assumed to find a low crab diversity and species richness and a strong dominance of a single species at highly disturbed forest sites compared to moderately disturbed sites. A stratified, hierarchical design was used to sample the crab fauna at 13 stations distributed over the entire lagoon. Additionally, abiotic parameters and vegetation composition were recorded. In total 6463 crabs were caught belonging to 49 species, 5 superfamilies and 10 families, with Ocypodidae and Sesarmidae being the families of most note. Mean density of adult crabs was 27.7 individuals*m−2 and mean biomass was 12.8 g wet mass*m−2 or 1.3 g ash free dry mass*m−2. Density and biomass varied strongly within and between stations but they where within the range reported for other mangrove forests of the Indo-West-Pacific. Species composition was significantly different between stations. The distribution of facultatively leaf-feeding grapsid crabs was related to vegetation parameters (tree, seedling and undergrowth density), but the occurrence of single crab and tree species was not correlated. The distribution of ocypodid crabs, feeding on detritus and microphytobenthos, correlated with sediment characteristics like median grain size and organic content. The crab community was strongly dominated by one species at six stations, however, this was not correlated to the degree of logging. Leaf-feeding crab and mangrove tree diversity was correlated at areas of one hectare (stations), but not at a lower spatial scale (areas of 100 m2, “zone”). Species richness of leaf-feeding crabs was not linked to forest diversity. Hence a functional relation between leaf-feeding crab and tree species diversity could not be proven.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Fisheries Biology
Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 02727714
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2019 14:41
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:29

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