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Feeding behavior of the ocypodid crab Macrophthalmus japonicus and its effects on oxygen-penetration depth and organic-matter removal in intertidal sediments

Title
Feeding behavior of the ocypodid crab Macrophthalmus japonicus and its effects on oxygen-penetration depth and organic-matter removal in intertidal sediments
Author
현정호
Keywords
Behavior; Feeding pellet; Macrophthalmus japonicus; Oxygen penetration; Organic-matter removal; Intertidal sediments
Issue Date
2019-11
Publisher
ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Citation
ESTUARINE COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE, v. 228, Article no. UNSP 106366
Abstract
This study examined the poorly understood feeding behavior of the ocypodid crab Macrophthalmus japonicus in the field to explore its effects on oxygen-penetration depth (OPD) and organic-matter removal from intertidal sediments. An in situ investigation was conducted on an upper mud flat in the mouth of the Han River estuary, on the western coast of Korea. The behavior of M. japonicus and variation in the OPD within its habitat were surveyed and contents of organic materials such as organic carbon (OC), organic nitrogen (ON) and delta N-15 in its feeding pellets were compared as contrasted with non-feeding sediments during the daytime ebb in summer. We continuously recorded the surface activity of the crab during two main feeding periods and during a resting period, when the crabs remain immobile on the surface. Feeding periods exceeded 1 h; crabs fed on sediments more actively during the first feeding period (45 pseudo-pellets individual(-1) h(-1)) than during the second feeding period (19 pseudo-pellets individual(-1) h(-1)). The feeding period duration increased as body size decreased. Adult crabs devoted more of their time to basking in sunlight to dry their bodies, whereas young crabs spent most of their time feeding. Crab feeding activity on the surface generally enhanced the OPD. Conversely, OPD decreased during basking, when most crabs were immobile. Crab feeding greatly altered sediment geochemistry in the intertidal flat. In feeding pellets, OC and ON concentrations decreased to 55% and 60%, respectively, of those in non-feeding sediments. OC and ON were removed at rates of 1.89 mmol C M-2 h(-1) and 0.24 mmol N M-2 h(-1), respectively. The removal rate of OC by crab feeding was three-fold higher than that of OC mineralization by diffusive oxygen uptake (average: 0.56 mmol C M-2 d(-1)) and was comparable with the rate of anaerobic carbon mineralization (1.74-3.83 mmol M-2 h(-1)) in this region. The increase in the C/N ratio (10.6%-12.5%) and decrease in delta N-15 (7.21 parts per thousand-5.99 parts per thousand) in feeding pellets compared with non-feeding sediments indicate that M. japonicus removed N more selectively to meet requirements. These results imply that in situ crab activity significantly influenced OC and ON cycles; therefore, it is necessary to consider processes such as macroinvertebrate production and consumption when evaluating the purification function of intertidal sediments.
URI
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272771419302999http://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/120782
ISSN
0272-7714; 1096-0015
DOI
10.1016/j.ecss.2019.106366
Appears in Collections:
COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND CONVERGENCE TECHNOLOGY[E](과학기술융합대학) > MARINE SCIENCE AND CONVERGENCE ENGINEERING(해양융합공학과) > Articles
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