Detailed information for reference 28015

 Behum, M.E., R.J. Brodie, and J.L. Staton (2005) Distribution of juvenile Uca pugnax and U. pugilator across habitats in a South Carolina estuary, assessed by molecular techniques. Marine Ecology Progress Series 288: 211–220. PDF is 774kB


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Reference ID 28015
Reference type journalarticle
Authors Behum, M.E.
Brodie, R.J.
Staton, J.L.
Publication Year (for display) 2005
Publication Year (for sorting) 2005
Title Distribution of juvenile _Uca pugnax_ and _U. pugilator_ across habitats in a South Carolina estuary, assessed by molecular techniques
Secondary Title Marine Ecology Progress Series
Secondary Authors  
Tertiary Title  
Tertiary Authors  
Volume 288
Pages 211–220
Place published  
Uca pugnaxand U. pugilator are common fiddler crabs in salt marshes on the Atlantic coast of the United States. As adults, U. pugnaxfrequent muddier, vegetated (typically Spartina alter- niflora)substrate while U. pugilatorusually occupy sandier, open habitats. It is unclear where juve- nile U. pugnaxand U. pugilatorreside because the early crab stages of these species are difficult to identify by simple gross morphology. Using a novel restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) protocol to distinguish postlarval U. pugnaxand U. pugilator, we studied their distribution along a horizontal gradient in the North Inlet Estuary, South Carolina. We collected juvenile crabs along tran- sects at 3 different sites that spanned S. alterniflora-covered mud and open sand habitats with adult populations of U. pugnaxand U. pugilator, respectively. Over 75% of the juveniles collected were U.pugnax, showing greater recruitment by this species. U. pugnaxjuveniles of all sizes preferred the same muddy habitat occupied by adults, but habitat preferences of juvenile U. pugilatorvaried by site. Generally, U. pugilatordisplayed a shift in distribution from S. alternifloracover to sandier habi- tat during early juvenile stages. The younger stages may prefer S. alterniflora-covered, muddier habitat because it provides better cover from predators, or so that they can avoid displacement by currents during high tides; alternatively, they may be able to feed better on muddy sediment. U. pugi- latordevelops specialized mouthparts to scrape organic matter from larger sand grains, but these are not present in early juveniles nor in U. pugnaxjuveniles. Although young juvenile U. pugnax strongly favored S. alternifloracover, older juveniles (those large enough to dig burrows for protec- tion) were occasionally found in sandier habitat with U. pugilator. KEY WORDS: Uca pugnax· U. pugilator · Postlarval settlement · Restriction fragment length polymorphism · RFLP
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