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Food preferences of Neosarmatium meinerti de Man (Decapoda: Sesarminae) and its possible effect on the regeneration of mangroves
Dahdouh-Guebas, F.; Verneirt, M.; Tack, J.F.; Koedam, N. (1997). Food preferences of Neosarmatium meinerti de Man (Decapoda: Sesarminae) and its possible effect on the regeneration of mangroves. Hydrobiologia 347: 83-89
In: Hydrobiologia. Springer: The Hague. ISSN 0018-8158; e-ISSN 1573-5117, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Animal behavior
    Behavior > Animal behavior
    Behaviour > Feeding behaviour
    Biological phenomena > Regeneration
    Data > Experimental data
    Food habits
    Food preferences
    Invertebrates > Arthropods > Crustacea > Malacostraca > Decapoda > Shellfish > Crabs
    Management > Ecosystem management
    Natural populations > Plant populations
    Stomach content
    Vegetation cover
    Water bodies > Inland waters > Wetlands > Swamps > Mangrove swamps
    ISW, Kenya [Marine Regions]; Kenya [Marine Regions]
    Marine/Coastal; Brackish water

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    Neosarmatium meinerti is a crab which commonly inhabits the landward Avicennia marina fringe in East African mangroves. Stomach content analysis of individuals collected at Gazi Bay and Mida Creek (Kenya) showed that their diet mainly consisted of mangrove leaves, completed with little animal matter. Experiments designed to offer the crabs a choice of leaves or propagules of the various mangrove species present indicated that N. meinerti has no distinct preference for any of them. Nor is it attracted by spongy material impregnated with the extract of propagules from any particular mangrove species. However, at least for Rhizophora mucronata, this crab species has a slight preference for freshly gathered propagules when presented both matured and freshly gathered ones. There is little evidence that the plant-derived diet of N. meinerti consists of one mangrove species only, though it is probable that this crab will restrict its feeding area within the landward A. marina fringe. Because of the lack of specificity in its feeding behaviour, N. meinerti can also be a threat to the successful regeneration or restoration of mangroves through seedling or propagule planting.

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