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Feeding Ecology of the Green Crab, Carcinus maenas (L., 1758) in a Temperate Estuary, Portugal

Alexandra Baeta, Henrique N. Cabral, João C. Marques and Miguel A. Pardal
Crustaceana
Vol. 79, No. 10 (Nov., 2006), pp. 1181-1193
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20107751
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Feeding Ecology of the Green Crab, Carcinus maenas (L., 1758) in a Temperate Estuary, Portugal
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Abstract

The feeding ecology of Carcinus maenas was studied between June 2003 and June 2004 in three areas in the Mondego estuary, Portugal. Samples were collected monthly, during the night, at high water of spring tides using a 2 m beam trawl. Among 837 stomachs examined, 25 different food items were identified. Crangon crangon, Hediste diversicolor, and Teleostei were the most important food items by occurrence, numbers, and weight. As an opportunistic feeder, differences in diet found between areas and seasons reflected prey availability. No differences were found in prey selection according to sex and carapace width of individuals. The feeding intensity of moulting and ovigerous crabs was lower. The incidence of cannibalism was higher than reported in the literature. C. maenas seems to be a main top predator in the food web of the Mondego estuarine ecosystem. /// A ecologia alimentar de Carcinus maenas foi estudada entre Junho de 2003 e Junho de 2004 em três locais no estuário do Mondego, Portugal. As amostras foram colhidas mensalmente, durante a noite, na vazante de marés vivas usando um arrasto de vara com 2 m. Entre os 837 estômagos examinados, 25 itens alimentares diferentes foram identificados. Crangon crangon, Hediste diversicolor e Teleostei foram os itens alimentares mais importantes por ocorrência, número e peso. Sendo um consumidor oportunista, as diferenças na dieta encontradas entre locais e estações do ano refectem a disponibilidade das presas no meio. Não foram encontradas diferenças na selecção de presas de acordo com o sexo e a largura da carapaça dos indivíduos. A intensidade alimentar dos caranguejos em muda e fêmeas ovigeras foi baixa. A incidência de canibalismo foi mais elevada do que reportado na literatura. C. maenas parece ser um predador topo na teia alimentar do ecossistema estuarino do Mondego.

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