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Thermal sensitivity of the crab Neosarmatium africanum in tropical and temperate mangroves on the east coast of Africa

Fusi, Marco; Babbini, Simone; Giomi, Folco; Fratini, Sara; Dahdouh-Guebas, Farid; Daffonchio, Daniele; McQuaid, Christopher David; Porri, Francesca; Cannicci, Stefano


Marco Fusi

Simone Babbini

Folco Giomi

Sara Fratini

Farid Dahdouh-Guebas

Daniele Daffonchio

Christopher David McQuaid

Francesca Porri

Stefano Cannicci


Mangrove forests are amongst the tropical marine ecosystems most severely affected by rapid environmental change, and the activities of key associated macrobenthic species contribute to their ecological resilience. Along the east coast of Africa, the amphibious sesarmid crab Neosarmatium africanum (=meinerti) plays a pivotal role in mangrove ecosystem functioning through carbon cycling and sediment bioturbation. In the face of rapid climate change, identifying the sensitivity and vulnerability to global warming of this species is of increasing importance. Based on a latitudinal comparison, we measured the thermal sensitivity of a tropical and a temperate population of N. africanum, testing specimens at the centre and southern limit of its distribution, respectively. We measured metabolic oxygen consumption and haemolymph dissolved oxygen content during air and water breathing within a temperature range that matched the natural environmental conditions. The results indicate different thermal sensitivities in the physiological responses of N. africanum from tropical and temperate populations, especially during air breathing. The differences observed in the thermal physiology between the two populations suggest that the effect of global warming on this important mangrove species may be different under different climate regimes.


Fusi, M., Babbini, S., Giomi, F., Fratini, S., Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Daffonchio, D., …Cannicci, S. (2017). Thermal sensitivity of the crab Neosarmatium africanum in tropical and temperate mangroves on the east coast of Africa. Hydrobiologia, 803(1), 251-263.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 27, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 9, 2017
Publication Date 2017-11
Deposit Date Aug 16, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 16, 2019
Journal Hydrobiologia
Print ISSN 0018-8158
Electronic ISSN 1573-5117
Publisher Springer
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 803
Issue 1
Pages 251-263
Public URL


Thermal Sensitivity Of The Crab Neosarmatium Africanum In Tropical And Temperate Mangroves On The East Coast Of Africa (<nobr>3 Mb</nobr>)

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