Feeding ecology of Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Brachyura, Portunidae) in the southern Gulf of Thailand: influences of habitat, season, size class, shell stage and ovigerous condition

in Crustaceana
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The aim of this study is to simultaneously evaluate the impact of ecological and biological conditions on feeding habits of Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758). Samples were collected from May 2013 to September 2014 using gill nets. Four moulting stages, three berried stages and four size classes were distinguished in the material collected. It was found that P. pelagicus is omnivorous, feeding on a wide range of benthic invertebrates, scavenging on dead pelagic animal remains, and ingesting significant amounts of plant material. Seasonally, no difference in the stomach fullness index was observed (P>0.05), but there was a difference in the average number of items (P<0.05). Both stomach fullness and average number of food items differed between habitats (P<0.001). Results from multivariate analyses indicated that the diets of P. pelagicus did not change with season but did vary with habitat. Crabs with different biological conditions ingested different food packages. This finding helps in understanding how P. pelagicus copes with different ecological and biological conditions in ingesting its preferred food (under the circumstances).

Feeding ecology of Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Brachyura, Portunidae) in the southern Gulf of Thailand: influences of habitat, season, size class, shell stage and ovigerous condition

in Crustaceana

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References

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Figures

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    Study area showing sampling site. Pattani Bay habitat: I, inner bay; M, middle bay; O, outer bay. Offshore area: A, 5 m depth; B, 10 m depth; C, 15 m depth.

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    A non-metric dimensional scaling (MDS) ordination of the mean percentage volumetric contribution of the groups of 10-30 randomly selected stomach contents of crab collected from six different habitats in Pattani Bay and offshore area during May 2013-September 2014. Note: (1) The stomach content of each group of individuals is referred to as a dietary sample; (2) I, inner bay; M, middle bay; O, outer bay; 5 m, 5 m depth; 10 m, 10 m depth; 15 m, 15 m depth.

  • View in gallery

    A non-metric dimensional scaling (MDS) ordination of the mean percentage volumetric contribution of the groups of 10-30 randomly selected stomach contents of crab collected in three different defined seasons in Pattani Bay and offshore area during May 2013-September 2014. Notes: (1) The stomach content of each group of individuals is referred to as a dietary sample; (2) r, rainy season; m, moderately rainy season; d, dry season.

  • View in gallery

    A non-metric dimensional scaling (MDS) ordination of the mean percentage volumetric contribution of the groups of 10-30 randomly selected stomach contents of crab of different size classes collected in Pattani Bay and offshore area during May 2013-September 2014. Notes: (1) The stomach content of each group of individuals is referred to as a dietary sample; (2) s, small sized crab; m, medium sized crab; L, large sized crab; XL, extra-large sized crab.

  • View in gallery

    A non-metric dimensional scaling (MDS) ordination of the mean percentage volumetric contribution of the groups of 10-30 randomly selected stomach contents of crab of different biological conditions collected in Pattani Bay and the offshore area during May 2013-September 2014. Notes: (1) The stomach content of each group of individuals is referred to as a dietary sample; (2) b, berried female crab; m, molting crab; n, normal crab.

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