Across-shore distribution of Ocypode quadrata burrows in relation to beach features and human disturbance

Periodo de realización: 2018/06/01 al 2018/01/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: Bahía Xcacel, Quintana Roo, México
Resumen: "Spatial distribution patterns of the ghost crab Ocypode quadrata were analysed using di?erent approaches at one disturbed and two preserved re?ective sandy beaches of the Mexican Caribbean. We used spatial correlation analysis to describe the across-shore distribution of O. quadrata and their patch dynamics by beach and sampling time. In addition, we analysed the across-shore variability of habitat extent of O. quadrata (habitat envelope) and its relation to human disturbance and beach features. The spatial structure of burrow density was consistent through time, showing a bimodal distribution with very low abundance in the mid distribution range and a discrete increment of burrows to landward. Nonetheless, the size of patches varied temporally for the three beaches. Burrow size increased from seaward to landward. The location of the ?rst burrow and the habitat envelope varied among sampling times and beaches. The location of the ?rst burrow is mostly mediated by the swash climate, while the habitat envelope is mainly controlled by the level of human disturbance. Despite the low number of disturbed and control beaches, our results suggest that the habitat envelope could be included in future studies when using ghost crabs as indicators of human disturbance. Polynomial models and variographic analysis proved to be useful tools to describe the across-shore distribution and patch dynamics of the ghost crab. "

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