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Burrow morphology of three species of fiddler crab (Uca) along the coast of Pakistan
Qureshi, N.A.; Saher, N.U. (2012). Burrow morphology of three species of fiddler crab (Uca) along the coast of Pakistan. Belg. J. Zool. 142(2): 114-126
In: Belgian Journal of Zoology. Koninklijke Belgische Vereniging voor Dierkunde = Société royale zoologique de Belgique: Gent. ISSN 0777-6276, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Biotopes; Burrowing organisms; Burrows; Mangroves; Uca Leach, 1814 [WoRMS]; Uca (Austruca) annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) [WoRMS]; Uca (Paraleptuca) chlorophthalmus (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) [WoRMS]; Uca (Paraleptuca) sindensis (Alcock, 1900) [WoRMS]; ISW, Pakistan [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Ecosystem engineer; Burrow cast; Tidal height

Authors  Top 
  • Qureshi, N.A.
  • Saher, N.U.

Abstract
    Burrowing by crabs is an important component of their functional role in mangrove biotopes. The Fiddler crab (Uca) is one of the more conspicuous burrowing organisms in the mangrove areas of Pakistan. To evaluate interspecific differences in burrowing behaviour between three species of Uca (U. annulipes, U. chlorophthalmus and U. sindensis), we compared vegetation cover, sediment composition and burrow morphology by using plaster of Paris casts. Five burrow morphology characters were measured (burrow number, depth, length, volume, and diameter of the burrow openings). Nearly all the morphological characters of the burrows differed significantly between species. The burrow morphology variations were correlated with the tidal level (distance from the water mark during low tide), porosity, percent organic matter, vegetation cover and structure of the sediments. The species-specific differences in the burrows cautions against generalizing regarding the functional role of fiddler crabs along the coast of Pakistan.

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