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The use of artificial benthic collectors for assessment of spatial patterns of settlement of megalopae of Carcinus maenas (L.) (Brachyura: Portunidae) in the lower Mira Estuary, Portugal
Paula, J.; Silva, I.C.; Francisco, S.; Flores, A.A.V. (2006). The use of artificial benthic collectors for assessment of spatial patterns of settlement of megalopae of Carcinus maenas (L.) (Brachyura: Portunidae) in the lower Mira Estuary, Portugal, in: Thessalou-Legaki, M. (Ed.) Issues of decapod crustacean biology. Developments in Hydrobiology, 184: pp. 69-77
In: Thessalou-Legaki, M. (Ed.) (2006). Issues of decapod crustacean biology. Developments in Hydrobiology, 184. Springer: Dordrecht. ISBN 978-1-4020-4599-8. 160 pp., more
In: Dumont, H.J. (Ed.) Developments in Hydrobiology. Kluwer Academic/Springer: The Hague; London; Boston; Dordrecht. ISSN 0167-8418, more

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Keywords
    Megalopae; Settlement; Carcinus maenas (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; ANE, Portugal, Mira Estuary [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Artificial collectors; Spatial patterns

Authors  Top 
  • Paula, J.
  • Silva, I.C.
  • Francisco, S.
  • Flores, A.A.V.

Abstract
    Artificial benthic collectors have been widely used for the assessment of settlement rates of decapod crustaceans. However, to date no consistent works have addressed spatial patterns of settlement in different estuarine habitats, and no specific studies targeted the interaction of artificial surfaces with the surrounding natural substrate. It may be expected that the artificial surface may produce a different thigmotactic response when compared to the natural substrate, which may limit the use of this technique for assessment of natural settlement rates. In this study the settlement rates of megalopae of the estuarine crab Carcinus maenas were addressed, specifically deploying artificial benthic collectors in different habitats both intertidal and subtidal in the lower Mira estuary. A number of experiments were performed concerning stratification and temporal fluctuations of settlement. Further, the interaction of collector surface with the surrounding substrate was investigated, by comparing settlement rates in natural and artificial substrates in different habitats. Results have shown significant differences in settlement between different estuarine habitats, both in spatially replicated experiments and in a high-resolution temporal experiment. However, comparison between settlement rates in artificial and natural substrates has shown that there is a strong interference between collectors and surrounding substrate, limiting interpretation of results concerning settlement rates in artificial substrate alone.

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