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Management and conservation of the land crab Cardisoma guanhumi (Crustacea: Gecarcinidae) based on environmental and fishery factors: a case study in Brazil

Abstract

A mangrove ecosystem encompasses two environments, a larger flooding area with a characteristic wetland forest, and a less flooded area, more saline with little or no vegetation cover, known as hypersaline tidal flats (apicuns). Cardisoma guanhumi is a non-abundant, semi-terrestrial crab that lives mainly in apicuns. This environment is smaller and less impacted in comparison with mangrove forests. This study aims to investigate the spatial relation between apicuns and mangroves as a habitat extent of C. guanhumi along the Brazilian coast and its implications on fishery management and conservation status of this species in Brazil. The study was based on apicum and mangrove extent maps of the Brazilian coast. The maps were analyzed based on variations in latitude and environmental and socio-political aspects. Along the Brazilian coast, we found 11,721 km2 of mangroves and 402 km2 of apicuns. The habitat of C. guanhumi varied greatly with latitude and is interdependent of mangrove ecosystem. This latitudinal gradient and the apicum-mangrove relation suggest the need for different management strategies of this fishery species along the Brazilian coast. Such strategies should be used to maintain the population of C. guanhumi in sizes that guarantee its conservation and recovery aiming to remove this species from the category of vulnerable in the Brazilian red list of threatened species.

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Acknowledgements

To the ‘Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo’ (FAPESP) and the ‘Fundação Grupo Boticário’ (FGB) for the financial support through the Uçá Project (FAPESP/FGB Grant # 2014/50438-5) and scientific initiation scholarship to MCAJ (FAPESP Grant # 2015/19476-0). This paper was also partially funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) as part of the project titled ‘Conservação e Uso Sustentável Efetivos de Ecossistemas Manguezais no Brasil’ (BRA/07/G32). MAAP and EES would like to thank the ‘Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico’ (CNPq) for research fellowships (Grant # 303286/2016-4 and Grant # 303502/2019-3, respectively).

Funding

This paper was partially funded by ‘Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo’ (FAPESP Grant # 2015/19476-0), ‘Fundação Grupo Boticário de Proteção à Natureza’ (FGB Grant # 2014/50438-5), Global Environment Facility (BRA/07/G32), ‘Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico’ (CNPq Grant #  303286/2016-4 and # 303502/2019-3).

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Santos, L.C.M., Boos, H., Sano, E.E. et al. Management and conservation of the land crab Cardisoma guanhumi (Crustacea: Gecarcinidae) based on environmental and fishery factors: a case study in Brazil. Wetlands Ecol Manage 30, 389–403 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-022-09868-2

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Keywords

  • Apicum
  • Coastal ecosystem
  • Conservation
  • Small-scale fishery