Advertisement

Marine Biology

, Volume 154, Issue 6, pp 997–1007 | Cite as

Leaf consumption by Sesarma plicata in a mangrove forest at Jiulongjiang Estuary, China

  • Guang-Cheng Chen
  • Yong YeEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The feeding ecology of Sesarma plicata (Grapsidae: Sesarminae), the most abundant crab species in a mangrove forest dominated by Kandelia candel at Jiulongjiang Estuary, China, was investigated through field and laboratory experiments. Feeding preference and consumption rates were determined on mature, senescent and decomposed leaves of Kandelia candel, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza and Aegiceras corniculatum. In the laboratory, S. plicata preferred leaves of K. candel over those of B. gymnorrhiza and A. corniculatum, and consumed significantly more decomposed leaves than mature and senescent ones, irrespective of crab size. Field experiments with limited power failed to reveal detectable species preferences despite more consumption of K. candel, but decomposed leaves of each species were again preferred. Leaf characteristics associated with preference changed with plant species and leaf state. Low tannins and high water content characterized the preference for decomposed state of leaves. Species preference was significantly and negatively related to crude fibers and C:N ratios for mature leaves, and crude fiber for senescent leaves, but significantly and positively related to water content for decomposed leaves. Leaf consumption rates averaged for all leaf categories from laboratory no-choice feeding experiments were 0.101, 0.055 and 0.017 gDW ind−1 d−1 for large, medium and small crabs, respectively. In this forest, mean density of S. plicata was 20.5 ind m−2 as assessed by a manual catching method. Leaf litter removal rate during neap tides by sesarmid crabs was about 1.33 gDW m−2 d−1 in April 2006. The leaves removed by crabs were grazed on the sediment surface or taken into crab burrows, shredded and stored before being eaten.

Keywords

Leaf Litter Mangrove Forest Neap Tide Mangrove Species Senescent Leaf 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (40476040) and New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET). We thank F. Z. Zheng, H. Y. Hu, C. Q. Chao, J. S. Guo, M. L. Liu, H. H. Tang, Y. Y. Xu, X. X. Chen and Y. H. Yao for their dedicated work in the field and/or laboratory.

References

  1. Alongi DM, Pfitzner J, Trott LA, Tirendi F, Dixon P, Klumpp DW (2005) Rapid sediment accumulation and microbial mineralization in forests of the mangrove Kandelia candel in the Jiulongjiang Estuary, China. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 63:605–618. doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2005.01.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ashton EC (2002) Mangrove sesarmid crab feeding experiments in Peninsular Malaysia. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 273:97–119. doi: 10.1016/S0022-0981(02)00140-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen GC, Ye Y, Lu CY (2007) Changes of macro-benthic faunal community with stand age of rehabilitated Kandelia candel mangrove in Jiulongjiang Estuary, China. Ecol Eng 31:215–224. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2007.07.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Camilleri JC (1989) Leaf choice by crustaceans in a mangrove forest in Queensland. Mar Biol 102:453–459. doi: 10.1007/BF00438346 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Camilleri JC (1992) Leaf-litter processing by invertebrates in a mangrove forest in Queensland. Mar Biol 114:139–145Google Scholar
  6. Cannicci S, Fratini S, Vannini M (1999) Use of time, space and food resource in the mangrove climbing crab Sesarma elongatun (Grapsidae: Sesarminate). Mar Biol 135:335–339. doi: 10.1007/s002270050631 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Davie PJF (1982) A preliminary checklist of the Brachyura (Crustacea: Decapoda) associated with Australian mangrove forests. Operculum 5:204–207Google Scholar
  8. Davie PJF (1985) The biogeography of littoral crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura) associated with tidal wetlands in trophical and sub-tropical Australia. In: Bardsley KN, Davie JDS, Woodroffe CD (eds) Costal and tidal wetlands of the Australian monsoon region, monograph 1. Australian National University, North Australian Reasearch Unit, pp 79–94Google Scholar
  9. Deal MS, Hay ME, Wilson D, Fenical W (2003) Galactolipids rather than phlorotannins as herbivore deterrents in the brown seaweed Fucus vesiculosus. Oecologia 136:107–114. doi: 10.1007/s00442-003-1242-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duffy JE, Hay ME (2001) Ecology and evolution of marine consumer-prey interactions. In: Bertness M, Hay ME, Gaines SD (eds) Marine Community Ecology. Sinauer, Sunderland, pp 131–157Google Scholar
  11. Emmerson WD, McGwynne LE (1992) Feeding and assimilation of mangrove leaves by the crab Sesarma meineri de Man in relation to leaf-litter production in Mgazana, a warm-temperate southern African mangrove swamp. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 157:41–53. doi: 10.1016/0022-0981(92)90073-J CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Erickson AA, Bell SS, Dawes CJ (2004) Does mangrove leaf chemistry help explain crab herbivory patterns? Biotropica 36:333–343Google Scholar
  13. Erickson AA, Saltis M, Bell SS, Dawes CJ (2003) Herbivore feeding preferences as measured by leaf damage and stomatal ingestion: a mangrove crab example. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 289:123–138. doi: 10.1016/S0022-0981(03)00039-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Erickson AA, Feller IC, Paul VJ, Kwiatkowski LM, Lee W (2008) Selection of an omnivorous diet by the mangrove tree crab Aratus pisonii in laboratory experiments. J Sea Res 59:59–69. doi: 10.1016/j.seares.2007.06.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Giddins RL, Lucas JS, Neilson MJ, Richards GN (1986) Feeding ecology of the mangrove crab Neosarmatium smithi (Crustacea: Decapoda: Sesarmidae). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 33:147–155. doi: 10.3354/meps033147 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lacerda LD, José DV, Rezende CE, Francisco MCF, Wasserman JC, Martins JC (1986) Leaf chemical characteristics affecting herbivory in a New World mangrove forest. Biotropica 18:350–355. doi: 10.2307/2388579 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lee SY (1998) Ecological role of grapsid crabs in mangrove ecosystems: a review. Mar Freshw Res 49:335–343. doi: 10.1071/MF97179 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lin P (1999) Mangrove ecosystem in China. Scientific Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  19. Linton SM, Greenaway P (2007) A review of feeding and nutrition of herbivorous land crabs: adaptations to low quality plant diets. J Comp Physiol B 177:269–286. doi: 10.1007/s00360-006-0138-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Macintosh DJ, Ashton EC, Havanon S (2002) Mangrove rehabilitation and intertidal biodiversity: a study in the Ranong mangrove ecosystem, Thailand. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 55:331–345. doi: 10.1006/ecss.2001.0896 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Macnae W (1967) Zonation within mangrove associated with estuaries in north Queensland. In: Lauff GH (ed) Estuaries. AAAS, Washington, pp 432–441Google Scholar
  22. Micheli F (1993) Feeding ecology of mangrove crabs in North Eastern Australia: mangrove litter consumption by Sesarma messa and Sesarma smithii. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 171:165–186. doi: 10.1016/0022-0981(93)90002-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Micheli F, Gherardi F, Vannini M (1991) Feeding and burrow ecology of two East African mangrove crabs. Mar Biol 111:247–254. doi: 10.1007/BF01319706 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nordhaus I, Wolff M (2007) Feeding ecology of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus (Ocypodidae): food choice, food quality and assimilation efficiency. Mar Biol 151:1665–1681. doi: 10.1007/s00227-006-0597-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nordhaus I, Wolff M, Diele K (2006) Litter processing and population food intake of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus in a high intertidal forest in northern Brazil. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 67:239–250. doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2005.11.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Neilson MJ, Giddens RL, Richards GN (1986) Effect of tannins on the palatability of mangrove leaves to the tropical sesarmid crab Neosarmatium smithi. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 34:185–186. doi: 10.3354/meps034185 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Odum WE, Heald EJ (1975) The detritus based food-web of an estuarine mangrove community. In: Cronin LE (ed) Esturine research, vol 1. Academic Press, New York, pp 265–286Google Scholar
  28. Pennings SC, Carefoot TC, Siska EL, Chase ME, Page TA (1998) Feeding preferences of a generalist salt-marsh crab: relative importance of multiple plant traits. Ecology 79:1968–1979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Peterson CH, Renaud PE (1989) Analysis of feeding preference experiments. Oecologia 80:82–86. doi: 10.1007/BF00789935 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Roa R (1992) Design and analysis of multiple-choice feeding-preference experiments. Oecologia 89:509–515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Robertson AL (1986) Leaf-burying crabs: their influence on energy flow and export mixed mangrove forests (Rhizophora spp.) in northeastern Australia. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 102:292–304. doi: 10.1016/0022-0981(86)90179-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Robertson AI, Daniel PA (1989) The influence of crabs on litter processing in high intertidal mangrove forest in tropical Australia. Oecologia 78:99–124. doi: 10.1007/BF00377155 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Robertson AI, Alongi DM, Boto KG (1992) Food chains and carbon flues. In: Robertson AI, Alongi DM (eds) Tropical mangrove ecosystem. American Geophysical Union, Washington, pp 293–326CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schories D, Barletta-Bergan A, Barletta M, Krumme U, Mehlig U, Verena Rademaker V (2003) The keystone role of leaf-removing crabs in mangrove forests of North Brazil. Wetlands Ecol Manage 11:243–255. doi: 10.1023/A:1025011431984 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Slim FJ, Gwada PM, Kodjo M, Hemminga MA (1996) Biomass and litterfall of Ceriops tagal and Rhizophora mucronata in the mangrove forest of Gazi Bay, Kenyan. Mar Freshw Res 47:999–1007. doi: 10.1071/MF9960999 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Slim FJ, Hemminga MA, Ochieng C, Jannink NT, Corcheret de la Moriniere E, van der Velde G (1997) Leaf litter removal by th snail Terebralia palustris (Linnaeus) and sesarmid crabs in an East African mangrove forest (Gazi Bay, Kenya). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 215:35–48. doi: 10.1016/S0022-0981(97)00029-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Smith TJ III, Boto KG, Frsher SD, Giddins RL (1991) Keystone species and mangrove forest dynamics: the influence of burrowing by crabs on soil nutrient status and forest productivity. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 33:419–432. doi: 10.1016/0272-7714(91)90081-L CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tam NFY, Wong YS (2000) Hong Kong Mangroves. City University of Hong Kong Press, Hong Kong, pp 95–103Google Scholar
  39. Tan GCS, Ng PKL (1994) An annotated checklist of mangrove brachyuaran crabs from Malaysia and Singapore. Hydrobiologia 285:75–84. doi: 10.1007/BF00005655 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Taylor RB, Sotka E, Hay ME (2002) Tissue-specific induction of herbivore resistance: seaweed response to amphipod grazing. Oecologia 132:68–76. doi: 10.1007/s00442-002-0944-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Terrill TH, Rowan AM, Douglas GB, Barry TN (1992) Determination of extractable and bound condensed tannin concentration in forage plants, protein concentration meals and cereal grains. J Sci Food Agric 58:321–329. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.2740580306 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Thongtham N, Kristensen E (2005) Carbon and nitrogen balance of leaf-eating sesarmid crabs (Neoepisesarma versicolor) offered different food sources. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 65:213–222. doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2005.05.014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Twilley RR, Lugo AE, Patterson-Zucca C (1986) Litter production and turnover in basin mangrove forests in southwest Florida. Ecology 67:543–557. doi: 10.2307/1937691 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vannini M, Ruwa RK (1994) Vertical migration of the tree crab Sesarma leptosoma (Decapoda, Grapsidea). Mar Biol 118:271–278. doi: 10.1007/BF00349794 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vannini M, Olouch A, Ruwa RK (1997) The tree-climbing crabs of Kenyan mangroves. In: Kjerfve B, Lacerda LD, Diop ES (eds) Mangrove ecosystem studies in Latin America and Africa. Tech Pap Mar Sci (UNESCO), Paris, pp 325–328Google Scholar
  46. Woitchik AF, Ohowa B, Kazungu JM, Rao RG, Goeyen L, Dehairs F (1997) Nitrogen enrichment during decomposition of mangrove leaf litter in an east African coastal lagoon (Kenya): relative importance of biological nitrogen fixation. Biogeochemistry 39:15–35. doi: 10.1023/A:1005850032254 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ye Y, Weng J, Lu CY, Chen GC (2006) Mangrove biodiversity restoration. Acta Ecol Sinica 26:1243–1250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Zheng FZ, Lu CY, Zheng WJ, Lin P (2000) Seasonal dynamics of litter fall and energy flow through the leaf litter of Kandelia candel mangrove in Jiulongjiang Estuary, Fujian province, China. J Xiamen Univ (Nat Sci) 39:693–698Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental ScienceXiamen UniversityXiamenChina

Personalised recommendations