Mechanisms of cross-shore distribution pattern of the intertidal mud crabMacrophthalmus japonicus
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In the intertidal mud crabMacrophthalmus japonicus, most large crabs occurred in the upper sandy areas. Mechanisms of the size-dependent distribution were interpreted experimentally. In the lower muddy area, food was more abundant and crab density was much higher than in the upper area. Under the high density conditions, interaction among large crabs became severe and more large crabs abandoned their burrows. In the experiment on burrowing-site selection, large crabs burrowed only in the muddy side under the low density, but also in the sandy side under high density conditions. The burrowing in the upper sandy area may be advantageous for large crabs, though food availability is lower, because of less competition and higher survivorship under the low crab density.
Key wordsactivity interaction mud crab size-dependent cross-shore distribution stationary tendency
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