Skip to main content

Free Content The Distribution and Abundance of Sphaeroma terebrans, a Wood-boring Isopod of Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) Habitat within Tampa Bay

Download Article:
(PDF 1863.12890625 kb)


This study was conducted to determine the distribution, abundance, and demography of a wood boring isopod, Sphaeroma terebrans Bate, 1866, within the prop roots of the red mangrove, Rhizophora mangle L., in eight sites within Tampa Bay, Florida. Sphaeroma terebrans in Tampa Bay displayed reproductive activity year- round and bay-wide synchrony in their density pattern. On average approximately 60% (range: 25%–86%) of the intertidal aerial roots surveyed were occupied by S. terebrans. Although infestation levels by S. terebrans in Tampa Bay were similar to that of more tropical regions, the distribution of S. terebrans was not continu- ous throughout the study sites. A substantially higher occurrence and density of S. terebrans was found in the northern compared to more southern study sites within the Bay. Additionally, some seemingly suitable areas of the bay (i. e., Pinellas Point, Skyway, Fort Desoto) were actually unoccupied on some dates. Although sites dif- fered in the frequency with which roots were attacked, the density of burrows and isopods in an occupied root was similar, with most attacked roots containing 3–5 burrows. The results of a transplantation experiment indicated that neither abiotic factors nor substrate quality limit the burrowing capabilities or survival of adult S. terebrans in the areas where they are absent. Instead, dispersal limitation, linked with differential juvenile survival, most likely controls isopod distribution and abundance within Tampa Bay.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more