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Trophic ecology of the crab Pachygrapsus transversus (Gibbes, 1850) (Brachyura: Grapsidae) and its influence on sessile communities of rocky shores of Ubatuba, SP

Grant number: 06/00559-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2006
Effective date (End): December 31, 2010
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Augusto Alberto Valero Flores
Grantee:Ronaldo Adriano Christofoletti
Host Institution: Centro de Biologia Marinha (CEBIMAR). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Sebastião , SP, Brazil


Rocky shores usually harbor a very high diversity, thus considered an important coastal environment, still poorly understood in tropical regions. The biotic composition and its dynamics are directly influenced by physical factors, such as wave exposure and tide range, and biological factors, namely competition, predation, herbivory and colonization rate. In Brazil, little is known on the species composition and community dynamics in rocky shores, including the trophic ecology of so-called keystone species and their influence on the sessile assemblages. In order to test specific hypotheses concerning the influence of the mottled shore crab, Pachygrapsus transversus, in the regulation of the sessile community, the composition and abundance of main algal and invertebrate species will be assessed throughout the seasonal cycle and according to wave exposure, as a preliminary objective. After this first stage, the natural diet of this dominant crab will be examined and specific experiments, which include environmental manipulation, will be conducted in the field. Species composition and seasonal community dynamics will be evaluated in a monthly basis during a 1-yr period, both in exposed and sheltered shores, by obtaining estimates of percentage cover and density of all detected species. Crabs will be collected in the same areas and conditioned in cooled isothermal boxes until later analyses of their stomach contents. The influence of Pachygrapsus on the sessile communities will still be evaluated by comparing the density of key species assemblages in total predator exclusion and crab inclusion experimental plots, as an attempt to asses the impact of crab populations on the surrounding sessile community. (AU)

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Scientific publications (7)
(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)
CHRISTOFOLETTI, RONALDO A.; TAKAHASHI, CAMILA K.; OLIVEIRA, DIOGO N.; FLORES, AUGUSTO A. V.. Abundance of sedentary consumers and sessile organisms along the wave exposure gradient of subtropical rocky shores of the south-west Atlantic. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, v. 91, n. 5, p. 961-967, . (06/00559-4)
BLANCO, CAMILA G.; GUSMAO-JUNIOR, JOAO B. L.; CHRISTOFOLETTI, RONALDO A.; COSTA, TANIA M.. Hydrodynamism and its influence on the density of the decorator crab Microphrys bicornutus (Mithracidae) on intertidal rocky shores from a subtropical region. MARINE BIOLOGY RESEARCH, v. 7, n. 7, p. 727-731, . (06/00559-4)
DE OLIVEIRA, DIOGO NUNES; CHRISTOFOLETTI, RONALDO ADRIANO; BARRETO, RODRIGO EGYDIO. Feeding Behavior of a Crab According to Cheliped Number. PLoS One, v. 10, n. 12, . (06/00559-4)
IZAR, G. M.; DE OLIVEIRA, DIOGO NUNES; LAURINO, IVAN RODRIGO ABRAO; ZARA, FERNANDO JOSE; CHRISTOFOLETTI, RONALDO ADRIANO. Is the population increase of an invasive portunid crab (Charbydis hellerii) a concern? The effect on native prey. ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE, v. 282, p. 8-pg., . (10/50188-8, 06/00559-4)
CHRISTOFOLETTI, RONALDO A.; MURAKAMI, VALERIA A.; OLIVEIRA, DIOGO N.; BARRETO, RODRIGO E.; FLORES, AUGUSTO A. V.. Foraging by the omnivorous crab Pachygrapsus transversus affects the structure of assemblages on sub-tropical rocky shores. MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES, v. 420, p. 125-134, . (06/00559-4)
LEITE, LUCAS G.; CIOTTI, AUREA M.; CHRISTOFOLETTI, RONALDO A.. Abundance of biofilm on intertidal rocky shores: Can trampling by humans be a negative influence?. MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, v. 79, p. 111-115, . (06/00559-4)
CHRISTOFOLETTI, RONALDO A.; ALMEIDA, THIAGO V. V.; CIOTTI, AUREA M.. Environmental and grazing influence on spatial variability of intertidal biofilm on subtropical rocky shores. MARINE ECOLOGY-PROGRESS SERIES, v. 424, p. 15-23, . (06/00559-4)

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