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Epibenthic amphipod abundance and predation efficiency of the pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum (Burkenroad, 1939) in habitats with different physical complexity in a tropical estuarine system
Corona, A.; Soto, L.A.; Sánchez, A.J. (2000). Epibenthic amphipod abundance and predation efficiency of the pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum (Burkenroad, 1939) in habitats with different physical complexity in a tropical estuarine system. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 253: 33-48
In: Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. Elsevier: New York. ISSN 0022-0981, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Corona, A.
  • Soto, L.A.
  • Sánchez, A.J.

Abstract
    Amphipod abundance and biomass were determined in soft-bottom substrates (SBS), mono-specific Thalassia testudinum patches and T. testudinum with attached macroalgae (SAV) from Términos Lagoon. Amphipods were absent in SBS, and their density and biomass were higher in SAV (3351 individuals m-2, 1718 mg AFDW m-2) than in T. testudinum (1220 ind m-2, 625 mg 22 AFDW m-2). Although macroalgae and seagrasses are recognised as an alternative refuge against predation for amphipods, the high abundance of amphipods in SAV suggests that macroalgae represent a habitat that provides greater food availability. Pink shrimp Farfantepenaeus duorarum (Burkenroad, 1939) consumption rate (Mo) of epibenthic amphipods was experimentally evaluated. Mo intensifies as prey density increases and varied from 0.39 to 2.39 mg AFDW h-1. Predation efficiency of F. duorarum on epibenthic amphipods was also evaluated in four artificial habitats with different physical complexity: soft-bottom substrates (SBS), small woody debris 22 (SWD), seagrasses with densities of 300 and 1200 shoots m-2 (S300 and S1200, respectively), 22 macroalgae (MA), and at two prey densities (962 and 2406 ind m-2). Amphipod consumption rate 21 by F. duorarum varied from 1.20 to 2.07 ind h-1 in S1200 and MA, respectively. Habitat complexity had a significant effect on consumption rate, but prey density did not. Habitat physical complexity and predation efficiency maintained an inverse and a non-linear relationship. Presumably, the decrease in predation efficiency in association with the habitat complexity is due to the differential refuge value of these habitats. However, predation efficiency may also be influenced by either the microhabitat use by amphipods, the shrimp’s dependence on seagrasses, or by differences in habitat value caused by the diel behavioural distribution pattern of amphipods and shrimp. Both field and experimental results highlight the importance of evaluating the relative value of tropical estuarine habitats through the study of the relationship between habitat physical complexity and predator-prey interactions. They also emphasise that inherent biological and ethological factors of the predator and prey involved, coupled to spatial and temporal variations in the habitat, should also be considered.

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