Burrow dynamics of crabs in subtropical estuarine mangrove forest

Egawa, Ryohei and Sharma, Sahadev and Nadaoka, Kazuo and MacKenzie, Richard A. (2021) Burrow dynamics of crabs in subtropical estuarine mangrove forest. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, 252. ISSN 0272-7714, DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2021.107244.

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Several ecological and biogeochemical processes in mangroves are influenced by crab activities through bioturbation, leaf litter consumption, or fecal deposition. Bioturbation might be influenced by crab burrow dynamics or surrounding abiotic and biotic factors or both. Therefore, it is necessary to examine burrow dynamics under different abiotic and biotic conditions. This study was conducted in the estuarine mangroves of Fukido River in the northern part of Ishigaki Island, Japan. Two transects consisting of five and seven 14-m diameter circular plots were established perpendicular to the mangrove/ocean interface. Spatial and seasonal burrow dynamics data were collected from five randomly chosen quadrates within each plot. Burrow density, renewed burrows per day, and collapsed burrows per day significantly varied spatially and seasonally. Burrow density strongly depended on sediment bulk density. Numbers of renewed and collapsed burrows per day were the same (R-2 = 0.86) though they significantly differed among the four seasons with being lowest in the winter season. This suggests that temperature, precipitation and crabs occurrence might control seasonal burrow dynamics. Proportion of collapsed burrows were strongly and significantly correlated to sediment bulk density, salinity and sediment temperature, which suggests that sediment properties provide structural support for burrows maintenance. On the other hand, vegetation cover and sediment characteristics influence the proportion of renewed burrows. Burrow depth was significantly controlled by sediment particle size, which suggests that crabs do not create deeper burrow if sediments contain higher amount of coarse sand. Entrance diameter was correlated to percentage organic matter, salinity, fine sand and distance from the river that means seaward sites are occupied by smaller and shallow burrows. Our results suggest that the burrow dynamics depend on abiotic and biotic factors and are useful for understanding spatial and seasonal variations for estimating bioturbation effects on mangroves biogeochemical cycle.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bioturbation; Burrow collapse; Burrow morphology; Burrow renewal; Sediment condition; Hydrology
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office > Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2022 07:07
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 07:07
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/26378

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