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Revista Brasileira de Zoologia

Print version ISSN 0101-8175

Rev. Bras. Zool. vol.14 no.2 Curitiba  1997 

Dimensionamento e sobreposição de nichos dos portunídeos (Decapoda, Brachyura), na Enseada da Fortaleza, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brasil


Breadth and overlap niches of the portunid crabs (Decapoda, Brachyura), in Fortaleza Bay, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil



Marcelo Antonio Amaro PinheiroI,III; Adilson FransozoII,III; Maria Lúcia Negreiros-FransozoII,III

IDepartamento de Biologia Aplicada, Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias, Universidade Estadual Paulista. 14870-000 Jaboticabal, São Paulo, Brasil
IIDepartamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Estadual Paulista. 18618-000 Botucatu, São Paulo, Brasil
IIICentro de Aqüicultura, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Núcleo de Estudos em Biologia Ecologia e Cultivo de Crustáceos




The niche breadth of the Portunidae and their overlap on the subtidal sediments of Fortaleza bay, Ubatuba (São Paulo) was analyzed. Samples were made monthly from November/1988 to October/1989, inseven areas of the bay using a shrimp fishery boat equipped with two otter-trawls. Each area was characterized based on environmental factors such as depth, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, organic matter and granulometric composition of the sediment. The number of individuais of each species was registered to each area (resource). Levins's standardized measure (BA) and niche percentage were calculated. Five species of swimming crabs were recorded in this study: Callinectes ornatus Ordway, 1863, Arenaeus cribrarius (Lamarck, 1818), Portunus spinimanus Latreille, 1819, Callinectes danae Smith, 1869 and Portunus spinicarpus (Stimpson, 1871). The widest ecological niche occurred to C. ornatus, present in all sampled areas (generalist species). Such fact can be related to high sediment tolerance when it is compared to P. spinimanus (especialist species) which was limited to the areas with coarse granulometric fractions. Highest niche overlap was verified between C. danae and A. cribrarius may be due to greater salinity tolerance of these species. The low occurrence of P. spinicarpus and its reduced niche size in Fortaleza Bay are due to association of this species to cold water currents (ACAS) more evidente in smaler depths during summer months. One future evaluation of the portunid diet can be useful to complement informations about this important aspect of the marine ecology.

Key words: Portunidae, distribution, niche, sediment, swimming crab



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Recebido em 17.VI.1996; aceito em 18.VI.1997.

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