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Cannibalistic interactions of juvenile mud crabs Scylla serrata: the effect of shelter and crab size
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science. KMFRI, Mombasa, Kenya.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1556-096X
Göteborgs universitet.
2013 (English)In: African Journal of Marine Science, ISSN 1814-232X, E-ISSN 1814-2338, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 545-553Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the culture of mud crab Scylla serrata, cannibalism is often the greatest cause of mortality. A laboratory study was conducted to compare the influence of size class differences and shelter on cannibalism and limb loss in juvenile mud crabs (20-70 mm internal carapace width; ICW). Four size classes of juvenile crab (A: 21-30 mm, B: 31-40 mm, C: 41-50 mm and D: 51-70 mm ICW) were tested in all possible combinations using four different substrata with varying degree of shelter (seaweed, plastic strings, bamboo tubes and open sand substratum) in 48 h trials. Results suggest that cannibalistic interactions are heavily influenced both by size differences of crabs and the availability of shelter. Cannibalism on the smallest size class (20-30 mm ICW) increased about 10 times in the presence of the largest crab (51-70 mm ICW) compared with treatment with only same-size crabs (control treatment). Shelter provided little refuge for the smallest crabs, whereas cannibalism in larger size classes decreased by >50% in all the shelters compared with the sand substratum. The findings suggest that both size-grading and provision of shelter could minimise cannibalism in the culture of mud crabs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 35, no 4, p. 545-553
Keywords [en]
cannibalism, mortality, size combination, size grading, substrata
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Science, Evolutionary Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-32078DOI: 10.2989/1814232X.2013.865677ISI: 000328940500008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84891293405OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-32078DiVA, id: diva2:693892
Available from: 2014-02-05 Created: 2014-02-05 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Mirera, David Oersted

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