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Behavioural responses of the mangrove fiddler crabs (Uca annulipes and U. inversa) to urban sewage loadings: Results of a mesocosm approach
Bartolini, F.; Penha-Lopez, G.; Limbu, S.; Paula, J.; Cannicci, S. (2009). Behavioural responses of the mangrove fiddler crabs (Uca annulipes and U. inversa) to urban sewage loadings: Results of a mesocosm approach. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 58(12): 1860-1867
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Mangroves; Reproductive behaviour; Sediment pollution; Sewage; Water pollution; Decapoda [WoRMS]; Uca (Austruca) annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) [WoRMS]; ISW, Tanzania, Dar es Salaam [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Bartolini, F.
  • Penha-Lopez, G.
  • Limbu, S.
  • Paula, J.
  • Cannicci, S.

Abstract
    The study aimed at investigating the effects of sewage loadings on the behaviour of two fiddler crabs species maintained in a system of experimental mesocosms, built in a mangrove area in Tanzania and inundated with different seawater/sewage mixtures. Our results show that sewage loads led to a modification of the overall activity budget of the crab community as a result of increased hypertrophic conditions (high COD, increased chlorophyll-a concentrations). During their activity period, crabs inside contaminated mesocosms seemed to satisfy their feeding demand faster than those of the control cells, spending a significant longer time in other activities like courtship and territorial defence. Apart from being a good biological indication of ecosystem eutrophication, such a reduced foraging activity by fiddler crabs also depresses their sediment bioturbation activity, important factor for the health of mangrove systems, suggesting practical implications regarding the efficiency of mangrove-based wetlands for treatment of domestic sewage.

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