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Ecology of the facultative phytotelmic crab Platychirarma buettikoferi (De Man, 1883) (Decapoda, Brachyura, Sesarmidae)

Fusi, Marco; Bayi, Joseph; Ngo-Massou, Vanessa; Din, Ndongo; Sacchi, Angela; Guebas, Farid Dahdouh; Cannicci, Stefano

Authors

Marco Fusi

Joseph Bayi

Vanessa Ngo-Massou

Ndongo Din

Angela Sacchi

Farid Dahdouh Guebas

Stefano Cannicci



Abstract

The mangrove forests surrounding Douala, Cameroon, have a long history of human impact due to rapid urbanization, resulting in patches of true mangrove forest interspersed with areas dominated by the mangrove-associated Pandanus species. A survey carried out to assess the possible shift in crab fauna composition and dominance between mangrove and Pandanus dominated areas revealed an undescribed phytotelmic habitat for Platychirarma buettikoferi. This species was found colonizing the natural reservoirs of fresh water represented by Pandanus spp. Our results show P. buettikoferi to be ecologically dependent upon Pandanus spp., and absent on the mangrove floor and trees, strongly indicating a phytotelmic adaptation. Our data suggest that this species is a facultative phytotelmic species well adapted to Pandanus spp. dominated areas. Further studies on the reproductive biology and feeding behaviour of P. buettikoferi may shed light on this unique phytotelmic lifestyle and its role in mangrove ecosystem functioning.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 30, 2021
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2021
Publication Date Oct 1, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2022
Journal Crustaceana
Print ISSN 0011-216X
Electronic ISSN 1568-5403
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 94
Issue 9
Pages 1043-1058
DOI https://doi.org/10.1163/15685403-bja10148
Keywords Ecological degradation; phytotelma; sesarmid crabs; mangrove ecology
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2826087

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