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Mechanisms of cross-shelf transport of crab megalopae inferred from a time series of daily abundance
Shanks, A.L. (2006). Mechanisms of cross-shelf transport of crab megalopae inferred from a time series of daily abundance. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 148(6): 1383-1398
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Shanks, A.L.

    From 20 July 1982 to 19 July 1984, crab megalopae were trapped daily from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography pier. Pachygrapsus crassipes, Portunus xantusii, Cancer spp., Hemigrapsus spp., and Majid crab megalopae dominated the catch. Yearly, seasonal, and daily variations in the magnitude of the catch were observed. Yearly and seasonal variations were probably due to a strong El Niño event that occurred during the study and to the timing of spawning and duration of the larval phase, respectively. Daily variation was correlated with oceanographic processes that can transport larvae to shore. Catch of some taxon during some seasons correlated with wind stress suggesting that transport was wind driven. The correlations were, however, weak and the sign of the correlation varied between years. The maximum daily tidal range was significantly correlated (cross-correlations and cross Fourier analysis) to both daily seawater temperature anomalies (surface and bottom) and daily catch of crab megalopae in all taxa enumerated. Significant correlations between tidal range and temperature anomalies suggest that temperature anomalies were primarily due to the shoreward transport of warm and cold water by the internal tides. The consistent and relatively strong relationship between tidal range and catch of megalopae (the cross-Fourier analysis suggests that from 20 to >90% of the variation in catch can be attributed to variation in the tidal range) suggest that much of the shoreward transport of megalopae was via the internal tides. Shoreward transport of larvae by internal tides may be due to internal cold bores or convergences over large tidally generated internal waves (solitons). Peak catches of megalopae, however, were often not associated with cold anomalies suggesting that transport was due to moving convergences over internal waves.

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