Relationships Between Life History Stages and Population Fluctuations in Emerita Portoricensis
Abstract:The mole crab Emerita portoricensis (Anomura: Hippidae) is encountered commonly in the wash zone of West Indian sandy beaches. Four sites within the Mayagüez and Añasco bays, Puerto Rico, were sampled for 2 years in order to examine population dynamics of various life history stages of this species and determine possible causes of population fluctuations.
A yearly cycle in population density (recruits + juveniles + adults) was observed in this species at all sites. Highest abundances were observed from April to October, whereas lower densities were observe!i from November to March. Recruitment was very low from late fall and early winter 1983–1984 and 1984–1985, and during May and June 1985. Higher recruit densities were observed more frequently during spring and summer months. Population fluctuations were influenced mainly by recruit density since this was significantly correlated with total population density. However, no significant correlation was observed between the number of eggs produced by parent generation and recruit density. The latter was non-significantly correlated with the cumulative number of eggs produced by recruits. This study indicates the importance of recruitment in determining population fluctuations in E. portoricensis.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1990
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