Diele, Karen and Simith, Darlan J.B. (2006) Salinity tolerance of northern Brazilian mangrove crab larvae, Ucides cordatus (Ocypodidae): Necessity for larval export?. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 68 (3-4). pp. 600-608. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2006.03.012.

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The life cycle of the semiterrestrial mangrove crab Ucides cordatus includes pelagic larvae that are released into estuarine waters during the wet season and who may thus encounter potentially stressful low and variable salinity conditions. The effect of salinity on the survival of the zoea larvae, the number of zoeal stages and the duration of development from hatching to megalopa was experimentally studied by rearing larvae from the Caeté estuary, Northern Brazil, in seven salinity treatments (0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30). For a better interpretation of the laboratory results, estuarine salinities were measured over five consecutive years during the species' reproductive season. The survival of the zoea larvae varied significantly with salinity, while the number of stages and the duration of their development remained constant. Development to megalopa took 20.77 ± 1.57 days and comprised five zoeal stages with ZI and ZII being euryhaline and later stages stenohaline. The newly hatched larvae stayed alive for up to 6 days in freshwater (average 4.32 ± 0.82 days), but did not moult to the second zoeal stage. ZII larvae first occurred from salinity 5 onwards and later zoeal stages at all tested salinities ≥10. However, the larvae only survived to megalopa at salinities ≥15, with highest numbers at salinity 30 (72%) and lowest at 15 (16%). Lethal salinities ≤10 occurred frequently in the estuary during the reproductive season. This suggests a need for larval export to offshore and thus more saline waters to allow for significant larval survival and maintenance of viable populations of this commercially important species. A regional rather than local approach for management is suggested due to the likelihood of long distance larval dispersal by offshore currents.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Ecology > Mangrove Ecology
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2006.03.012
ISSN: 02727714
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 11:55
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:30
URI: http://cris.leibniz-zmt.de/id/eprint/3463

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