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Population Biology of Liocarcinus Depurator (Brachyura: Portunidae) In Mussel Raft Culture AreasIn The Ría De Arousa (Galicia, Nw Spain)

  • L. Fernández (a1), E. González-Gurriarán (a1) and J. Freire (a1)

The population biology of the crab Liocarcinus depurator was studied for one year in the mussel raft culture areas of the Ria de Arousa. The density and biomass of this species is much higher in the raft areas, especially in the outer part of the ria, than in the central channel area. Maximum abundance occurred during the winter months (up to 8-80 g wet weight m and 0-44 individuals m.

Maturity size in females was set at 28-30 mm carapace width, (based on ovigerous females) and is attained in the first year of life. The ovigerous females were most abundant in January (approximately 70% of the mature females), but another less important maximum value was observed in May, attributable to a second spawning. Modifications in the sex ratio from 1:1 affected individuals larger than the maturity size during the season when there was a greater number of ovigerous females present. Data on sex ratio and breeding cycle indicate that ovigerous females move towards the raft areas located in the outer part of the ria. Trawl recruitment took place in the stations located in the outer Ria, and mainly in August-September, although it continued to a lesser extent in autumn.

The Von Bertalanffy growth function was fitted to both sexes in the two outer stations. Growth rate was higher in males than in females, while variability between stations was less important. However the growth rate and reproductive output of L. depurator in the Ria de Arousa was higher than in populations from other geographical areas, possibly because of the availability of food from the rafts and or the oceanographic conditions in the ria.

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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom
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