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Use of the shell utilization pattern by Pagurus criniticornis as indicator of the population dynamic of the gastropod Olivella minuta in Araçá Bay, São Paulo State

Grant number: 13/14889-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2013
Effective date (End): August 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Oceanography
Principal Investigator:Alexander Turra
Grantee:Lol Iana Dahlet
Home Institution: Instituto Oceanográfico (IO). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:11/50317-5 - Biodiversity and functioning of a subtropical coastal ecosystem: a contribution to integrated management , AP.BTA.TEM


The hermit crabs shell use pattern will be used to discuss a phenomenon of an abrupt reduction on the abundance of the gastropod Olivella minuta in the intertidal region of Araçá Bay, North littoral of the São Paulo state. This phenomenon occurs annually between February and March, and two hypotheses were raised: it is a consequence of a massive migration of the organisms towards the infralittoral zone, or it is the result of high mortality in the intertidal. In this perspective, the present study intend to utilize the relationship between the hermit crabs Pagurus criniticornis and the gastropod Olivella minuta as an evidence for this problematic, once the gastropods shells represent a limiting factor for the hermit crabs. Therefore, if a supply of new shells related to the gastropod death benefits the renovation of this resource for the crabs, fostering their growth, protection and reproduction, an improvement in the quality of the shells used by the crabs would be expected after this hypothetical critical period, as the crabs would change their old shells for the new ones. For this purpose, sampling before and after February will be conducted, when the conditions of the shells of O. minuta used by the hermit crabs will be evaluated, considering degree, position and type of alteration on the shells, such as whitening of the periostracum, incrustations, damages and erosion. Thereby, an improvement in the shell quality will be considered an argument supporting the hypothesis that the sudden reduction on the density of this gastropod is related to an event of intense mortality, instead of migration of the whole population towards the infralittoral.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DAHLET, LOL IANA; CHECON, HELIO HERMINIO; YOKOYAMA, LEONARDO Q.; TURRA, ALEXANDER. Patterns of shell utilization by hermit crabs as a proxy of gastropod population dynamics. MARINE BIOLOGY RESEARCH, v. 15, n. 7, p. 424-433, AUG 9 2019. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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