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Distribution, abundance and assemblages of decapod crustaceans in waters off Guinea-Bissau (north-west Africa)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 December 2011

Isabel Muñoz*
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C.O. de Cádiz, Puerto Pesquero, Muelle de Levante s/n, 11006 Cádiz (Spain)
Eva García-Isarch
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C.O. de Cádiz, Puerto Pesquero, Muelle de Levante s/n, 11006 Cádiz (Spain)
Ignacio Sobrino
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C.O. de Cádiz, Puerto Pesquero, Muelle de Levante s/n, 11006 Cádiz (Spain)
Candelaria Burgos
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C.O. de Cádiz, Puerto Pesquero, Muelle de Levante s/n, 11006 Cádiz (Spain)
Rita Funny
Centro de Investigação Pesqueira Aplicada (CIPA), Avenida Amilcar Cabral, C.P. 102, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
Marcos González-Porto
Laboratorio de Zooloxía Mariña, Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Facultade de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade de Vigo, C.P. 36310 Vigo (Pontevedra-Spain)
Correspondence should be addressed to: I. Muñoz, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C.O. de Cádiz, Puerto Pesquero, Muelle de Levante s/n, 11006 Cádiz (Spain) email:


This study constitutes a first contribution to the knowledge of the ecology of the decapod crustaceans in waters off Guinea-Bissau. Samples were collected during a survey undertaken between October and November 2008. A total of 122 species of decapod crustaceans were identified. Results showed an increase of decapod biomass and abundance with depth, reaching maxima values in the 200–500 m depth stratum but decreasing at depths over 500 m. Average diversity by strata increased with depth, with maximum over the deep slope. Seven main assemblages were identified: five primarily associated with depth—coastal shelf (<60 m), shelf (60–200 m), upper slope (200–300 m), middle slope (300–500 m), deep slope (500–1000 m)—and two other northern shelf assemblages affected by sediment type—coastal shelf-north (<50 m) and shelf-north (50–100 m). Species of each assemblage are typified. This study provides new information about composition, distribution, abundance and assemblage structure of decapod crustaceans in Guinea-Bissau that may be useful for future assessment of the effect of trawling pressure in the area.

Research Article
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2011

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