Haroon, Ameena, Helfer, Veronique, Gillis, Lucy and Zimmer, Martin (2019) Food Selection by Detritivorous Crabs Among Detritus from Different Sources. [Poster] In: MMM5. , 01.07.-05.07.2019, Singapore .

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Detritus-feeding mangrove crabs of the Sesarmidae family are key drivers of ecosystem processes, such as sediment turbation and organic matter turnover. As ecosystem engineers, they shape the environmental conditions of the substratum by building burrows in the sediment. As mangroves receive detrital matter from both terrestrial and marine adjacent ecosystems, the potential of these detritivores to process detritus from different sources is relevant for our understanding of organic matter turnover and dynamics, and budgets of in- and outflows of detritus between mangroves and neighbouring ecosystems such as seagrass beds. Laboratory experiments will be set up to assess food preferences and ingestion rates of various detrital food sources of marine or terrestrial origin (e.g. macroalgae, seagrass, mangrove, saltmarshes and coastal forests) by mangrove crab. Comparing the chemical composition of food sources and egested fecal pellets with high resolution through (pyrolysis-)gas chromatography/mass spectrometry will not only provide insight into differential digestion of different food sources but also on the chemical stability of different detrital sources against microbial decay upon being deposited in the sediment by detritivorous crabs. Of particular interest in this context is the storage of different food sources inside crab burrows. This project will answer questions on the reasons and advantages of this behaviour for the crab and whether male and female crabs behave differently in this respect. The latter aspect will prove relevant in the context of crab-fisheries that –be it by legal constraints or because of larger sizes of male crabs– preferentially remove male crabs from the mangrove system

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Research affiliation: Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2019 10:28
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/2779

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