The Brachyuran Crab Community of the Caeté Estuary, North Brazil: Species Richness, Zonation and Abundance

  • K. Diele
  • V. Koch
  • F. A. Abrunhosa
  • J. de Farias Lima
  • D. de Jesus de Brito Simith
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 211)


Knowledge of the community structure and the ecological role of species is essential to understanding the functioning and managing of mangrove ecosystems. Here, we focus on the Brachyuran crab community of the Caeté mangrove estuary in northern Brazil, with relatively pristine forests composed of only three tree species. A total of 29 terrestrial and aquatic brachyuran crabs were found, belonging to 10 families and 16 genera. Five species were recorded for the first time in the state of Pará, including one new species (Auxtinixia bragantina, Coelho 2005). We give a list with information on each species’ habitat and present drawings of most crabs. Zonation was pronounced and produced well defined species clusters at different tidal heights and habitat types. Abundance and biomass data for the most prominent species are described for three mangrove sub-habitats. Single species dominance is striking. On shadeless banks of mangrove creeks, the fiddler crab Uca maracoani contributed >95% of the total biomass/abundance, whereas inside the forest, the large leaf litter feeder Ucides cordatus dominated with 84% of the total biomass (172 g m−2 fresh mass). Compared to the Indo−West Pacific bioregion, crab (and tree) diversity in our eastern Atlantic mangroves is low. The crabs’ functional performance in north Brazilian mangroves, however, e.g., removal of leaf litter and nutrient retention, do not seem to be affected by their lower taxonomic diversity.


Mangrove Forest Tidal Creek Carapace Width Mangrove Ecosystem Fiddler Crab 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Diele
    • 1
  • V. Koch
    • 2
  • F. A. Abrunhosa
    • 3
  • J. de Farias Lima
    • 4
  • D. de Jesus de Brito Simith
    • 5
  1. 1.Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine EcologyBremenGermany
  2. 2.Depto. Biol. Marina, Carretera al Sur, km 5.5Universidad Autónoma de Baja California SurLa PazMéxico
  3. 3.Instituto de Estudos CosteirosUniversidade Federal do ParáBragançaBrazil
  4. 4.Embrapa AmapáRodovia Juscelino KubitschekMacapáBrazil
  5. 5.Instituto de Estudos CosteirosUniversidade Federal do ParáBragançaBrazil

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