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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 279:193-200 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps279193

Bathymetric distribution of brachyuran crab (Crustacea, Decapoda) communities on coastal soft bottoms off southeastern Brazil

Giovana Bertini1,*, Adilson Fransozo2

1NEBECC (Group of Studies of Crustacean Biology, Ecology and Culture), Universidade Estadual Paulista, Unidade Diferenciada de Registro, Rua Tamekichi Takano 5, Centro, 11900-000, Registro, SP, Brazil
2NEBECC (Group of Studies of Crustacean Biology, Ecology and Culture), Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Estadual Paulista, UNESP, s/n, 18618-000, Botucatu, SP, Brazil

ABSTRACT: The communities of brachyuran crabs living on soft bottoms off Ubatuba in SE Brazil were studied with respect to their structure, bathymetric distribution, composition, diversity and indices of similarity. The data were analyzed using multivariate techniques of classification and ordination. Most of the individuals caught during summer were the swimming crab Portunus spinicarpus at the 35 m isobath, which contributed to the much-decreased diversity in this season and site. Multivariate analysis indicated that the species were distributed according to depth and also in relation to environmental gradients.

KEY WORDS: Sublittoral communities · Distribution patterns · Species composition · Crustacea · Brachyura

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