Marine Biology

, Volume 102, Issue 3, pp 387–395 | Cite as

Differences in responses to factorial combinations of temperature and salinity by zoeae from two geographically isolated populations of the mud crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii

  • R. B. LaughlinJr.
  • W. French


Ovigerous mud crabs, Rhithropanopeus harrisii, were collected from the Petaluma River (San Francisco Bay Estuarine System, California, USA) and from Sykes Creek (Indian River Lagoon System, Florida, USA) during the summer of 1984 and during February 1985, respectively. Their zoeae were reared in factorial combinations of temperature (20°, 25° or 30°C) and salinity (2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30%.). Survival and megalopal dry weight were maximal over a far larger range of temperature-salinity combinations for the Florida population. Absolute values of the two parameters were also greater for this group. Temperature dominated effects on duration of zoeal development in both populations. California zoeae developed more slowly at any of the temperatures tested compared with those from Florida. The pattern of all three indices was markedly different under non-optimal conditions. Putatively adaptive modification of survival, development rate and growth of zoeae is evident in response to prevailing environmental conditions which are, in part, a function of latitudinal position. Even though populations in the Petaluma River, California, are less capable of reaching maximal performance under the prevailing physical regimes than the Florida population, they still can live in habitats where physical conditions exclude competitors and predators.


Maximal Performance Estuarine System Factorial Combination Lagoon System Indian River Lagoon 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. B. LaughlinJr.
    • 1
  • W. French
    • 1
  1. 1.Naval Biosciences Laboratory, Naval Supply CenterUniversity of California at BerkeleyOaklandUSA

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