Effects of the burrowing crab chasmagnathus granulata (Dana) on meiofauna of estuarine intertidal habitats of Patos lagoon, southern Brazil

Rosa, Leonardo Cruz da; Bemvenuti, Carlos Emílio


This study aimed to evaluate the e ects of the burrowing crab Chasmagnathus granulata on meiofauna at three intertidal habitats across a tidal exposure gradient (i.e., an emerged salt marsh, an emerged mudflat and a submerged mudflat) in an estuarine embayment of Patos Lagoon, Southern Brazil. Meiofauna community was dominated by nematodes and ostracods, following by copepods and turbellarians. Densities of all studied organisms varied significantly among habitats. Highest values were observed in submerged mudflat while lower in salt marsh. Nematodes were una ected by crab in either habitat, whereas ostracod, copepod and turbellarian densities were significantly lower in disturbed than control areas in both mudflat habitats. Any meiofaunal group was a ected in salt marsh, probably due to a less intense disturbance. The results showed that the burrowing crab C.granulata could play an important role on meiofauna community structure in estuarine intertidal habitats of Patos Lagoon, because crab disturbance seemed to a ect mainly surface populations, especially in mudflat. However, the meiofauna response to crab disturbance was variable among habitats depending of the intensity and the frequency of the disturbance.

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  • IO - Artigos publicados em periódicos