Trophic relationships between itinerant fish and crab larvae in a temperate Australian saltmarsh

Debashish Mazumder*, Neil Saintilan, Robert J. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Comparisons of zooplankton inputs and outputs for a temperate Australian saltmarsh demonstrate a substantial contribution of crab larvae to the ebbing tide water, particularly during the cooler months. Few crab larvae were present in the incoming tide (mean abundance 4 m-3), whereas many crab larvae were present in the outgoing water (mean abundance 2124.63 m-3). Stomach content analysis of itinerant fish exiting the saltmarsh with the ebbing tide demonstrated extremely high proportions of crab larvae in the gut of glassfish (Ambassis jacksoniensis), as well as flat tail mullet (Liza argentea) and blue eye (Pseudomugil signifer). The results suggest a direct trophic link between secondary production of saltmarsh and itinerant fish, and a significant ecological role for burrowing crabs occupying saltmarshes in temperate Australia in the trophic food web of saltmarsh-estuarine systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalMarine and Freshwater Research
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Burrowing crabs
  • Estuarine
  • Juvenile fish
  • Towra Point

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