A crab swarm at an ecological hotspot : patchiness and population density from AUV observations at a coastal, tropical seamount
Mass stranding events of Pleuroncodes planipes in Southern California from January to August 2015 documented by multiple media outlets (74.04Kb)
Cho, Walter W.
Starczak, Victoria R.
Govindarajan, Annette F.
Guzman, Hector M.
Holleman, Rusty C.
Churchill, James H.
Ralston, David K.
MetadataShow full item record
KeywordSwarms; Ecological hotspot; Patchiness; Panama; Eastern Pacific; Seamount; Pleuroncodes planipes; Hypoxic environment; Anomuran crabs
A research cruise to Hannibal Bank, a seamount and an ecological hotspot in the coastal eastern tropical Pacific Ocean off Panama, explored the zonation, biodiversity, and the ecological processes that contribute to the seamount’s elevated biomass. Here we describe the spatial structure of a benthic anomuran red crab population, using submarine video and autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) photographs. High density aggregations and a swarm of red crabs were associated with a dense turbid layer 4–10 m above the bottom. The high density aggregations were constrained to 355–385 m water depth over the Northwest flank of the seamount, although the crabs also occurred at lower densities in shallower waters (∼280 m) and in another location of the seamount. The crab aggregations occurred in hypoxic water, with oxygen levels of 0.04 ml/l. Barcoding of Hannibal red crabs, and pelagic red crabs sampled in a mass stranding event in 2015 at a beach in San Diego, California, USA, revealed that the Panamanian and the Californian crabs are likely the same species, Pleuroncodes planipes, and these findings represent an extension of the southern endrange of this species. Measurements along a 1.6 km transect revealed three high density aggregations, with the highest density up to 78 crabs/m2, and that the crabs were patchily distributed. Crab density peaked in the middle of the patch, a density structure similar to that of swarming insects.
© The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in PeerJ 4 (2016): e1770, doi:10.7717/peerj.1770.
The following license files are associated with this item:
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Whales and waves : humpback whale foraging response and the shoaling of internal waves at Stellwagen Bank Pineda, Jesus; Starczak, Victoria R.; da Silva, Jose C. B.; Helfrich, Karl R.; Thompson, Michael A.; Wiley, David N. (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-04-02)We tested the hypothesis that humpback whales aggregate at the southern flank of Stellwagen Bank (SB) in response to internal waves (IWs) generated semidiurnally at Race Point (RP) channel because of the presence of their ...
Cho, Walter W. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2008-09)The mechanisms of faunal dispersal across ocean basins are key unknowns toward understanding of the modern biogeography and biodiversity of deep-sea fauna. Seamounts are considered to play a defining role in faunal ...
Roland, Emily C.; McGuire, Jeffrey J. (John Wiley & Sons, 2009-06-04)Swarm-like earthquake sequences are commonly observed in a diverse range of geological settings including volcanic and geothermal regions as well as along transform plate boundaries. They typically lack a clear mainshock, ...