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Life-history, movement, and habitat use of Scylla serrata (Decapoda, Portunidae): current knowledge and future challenges.

Alberts-Hubatsch, Hilke; Lee, Shing Yip; Meynecke, Jan-Olaf; Diele, Karen; Nordhaus, Inga; Wolff, Matthias


Hilke Alberts-Hubatsch

Shing Yip Lee

Jan-Olaf Meynecke

Inga Nordhaus

Matthias Wolff


The mud crab Scylla serrata is a highly exploited species, associated to mangrove ecosystems in the Indo-West-Pacific. It has a complex life cycle with a dispersing larvae phase, and benthic juveniles and adults. The former are stenohaline depending on high-salinity conditions to survive, whereas the latter are physiologically well adapted to changing temperatures and salinities, conditions that typically occur in mangrove habitats. Movement and habitat use of large juveniles and adults are well studied, and these life stages are known to utilize and move between various habitats within the mangrove ecosystem: intertidal flats as well as subtidal channels and flats. Females undertake long movements from brackish inshore waters to waters with oceanic conditions for spawning.
Sensory abilities—of early stages and adult stages— have hardly been studied, and little is known about larval and early benthic stages in the wild. Summarizing, the literature revealed substantial gaps in the understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the
different life stages and of the clues that trigger recruitment, movement, and other behavior. This is the first comprehensive review on the life history, movement patterns, habitat use, and systemic role of S. serrata with emphasis on the respective life stages and geographic differences. We emphasize the need for
further research into these processes as a basis for the sustainable management and conservation of this species.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 24, 2015
Online Publication Date Jul 11, 2015
Publication Date 2016-01
Deposit Date Jul 28, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jul 28, 2015
Journal Hydrobiologia
Print ISSN 0018-8158
Electronic ISSN 1573-5117
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 763
Issue 1
Pages 5-21
Keywords Behaviour; life-cycle; habitat shift; ontogenetic shift;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jul 28, 2015


Life-history, movement, and habitat use of Scylla serrata... (997 Kb)

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© The Author(s) 2015 Open Access
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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