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Are fiddler crabs potentially useful ecosystem engineers in mangrove wastewater wetlands?
Penha-Lopes, G.; Bartolini, F.; Limbu, S.; Cannicci, S.; Kristensen, E.; Paula, J. (2009). Are fiddler crabs potentially useful ecosystem engineers in mangrove wastewater wetlands? Mar. Pollut. Bull. 58(11): 1694-1703.
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 280007 [ OMA ]

    Uca Leach, 1814 [WoRMS]; Marine
Author keywords
    Sewage; Survival; Bioturbation; Ecosystem engineer; Fiddler crabs;

Authors  Top 
  • Penha-Lopes, G., more
  • Bartolini, F.
  • Limbu, S.
  • Cannicci, S.
  • Kristensen, E.
  • Paula, J.

    The effect of different organic-rich sewage concentration (0%, 20% and 60% diluted in seawater) and absence or presence of mangrove trees on the survival, bioturbation activities and burrow morphology of fiddler crabs species was assessed. After 6 months, males of both species always showed higher survival (similar to 80%) when compared to females (similar to 20%). Crabs inhabiting pristine conditions achieved higher survival (67-87%) than those living in sewage-exposed mesocosms (40-71%). At 60% sewage loading, fiddler crabs processed less sediment (34-46%) during feeding and excavated slightly more sediment (45-80%) than at pristine conditions. While percent volume of the burrow chambers increased (13-66%) at contaminated mesocosms for both vegetation conditions, burrows were shallower (similar to 33%) in bare cells loaded with sewage. The results show that fiddler crabs presented moderate mortality levels in these artificial mangrove wetlands, but mainly in sewage impacted cells. However, they still function as ecosystem engineers through bioturbation activities and burrow construction.

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