Recruitment patterns of decapod crustacean megalopae in a shallow inlet (SW Spain) related to life history strategies
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SourceEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 56: 593-607 (2003)
Decapod crustacean megalopae were sampled weekly (spring/neap tides) during late-spring/summer of 1998 by using two planktonic nets located close to the surface and the bottom, at a fixed station in the mouth of the Rı́o San Pedro inlet (SW Spain). Sampling was carried out during 25 h cycles to ascertain the flux of megalopae in relation to the main environmental (diel, tidal, tidal amplitude) cycles. The hypothesis that megalopae of some species may be using tidal-stream transport as a mechanism of re-invading the inlet was tested and the relationship between megalopal behaviour and life history strategy was analysed. In general, the flux of megalopae was higher during spring tides, but such differences were only statistically significant for Pisidia longicornis and Liocarcinus sp.2 due to the considerable interdate variation. With the exception of Macropodia sp., megalopae were more abundant close to the bottom. The diel/tidal flux of most abundant species suggested two different patterns of behaviour: megalopae of Liocarcinus spp., Panopeus africanus, Uca tangeri and Brachynotus sexdentatus seemed to be re-invading the inlet (specially at nocturnal floods), while megalopae of Ilia nucleus, Nepinnotheres pinnotheres and Macropodia sp. may have been just looking for a suitable place for settlement. The first group corresponded to the species whose zoeal development occurs in open sea, and the second one to species that complete their life cycle within the studied system, suggesting a relationship between the duration of the larval phase and the life cycle strategy of the species.