Host specialisation in trapeziid crabs: consequences for rarity at local scales

Sin, T.M., and Lee, A.C. (2000) Host specialisation in trapeziid crabs: consequences for rarity at local scales. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium (1) pp. 533-536. From: 9th International Coral Reef Symposium: World Coral Reefs in the New Millenium, 23-27 October 2000, Bali, Indonesia.

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At local scales, the distribution and abundance of strongly habitat associated organisms should be positively related to the amount of habitat available, but this relationship is highly dependent on the extent of specialisation for particular habitats. We examined habitat specialisation in seven species of crabs in the genus Trapezia from seven reefs in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea to test predictions that species with wider host breadths would a) be more abundant and b) have wider local distributions. The results indicate that habitat specialisation is consequential in determining patterns of local abundance. The Trapezia species using wider ranges of pocilloporid coral species were also the most abundant. This pattern was disrupted when crab species specialised on highly abundant corals. Similarly, crabs that were habitat generalists were found on more reefs than crabs that used only one or two coral species. These results suggest that species that are extreme habitat specialists may naturally exist in low numbers in reef communities. Furthermore, the Joss of such organisms may not be detected by sampling methods using coarse taxonomic groupings. The relationship between habitat specialisation and rarity should therefore be an important consideration in designing reef monitoring studies.

Item ID: 14670
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 979-8105-97-4
Keywords: habitat specialisation; management; rarity; scale; symbiosis
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2017 03:21
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060302 Biogeography and Phylogeography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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