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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 667:99-112 (2021)  -  DOI:

Body condition and energy content of shore crab Carcinus maenas in a temperate coastal system: temporal variability

Joana Campos1,*, Felipe Ribas1, Ana Bio1, Vânia Freitas1, Allan T. Souza2, Henk W. van der Veer3

1Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research of the University of Porto (CIIMAR-UP), Terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Av. General Norton de Matos, 4450-208 Matosinhos, Portugal
2Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Na Sádkách 7, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
3Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, Department of Coastal Systems, PO Box 59, 1790 AB Den Burg, Texel, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The body condition of the shore crab Carcinus maenas in a temperate coastal system (western Dutch Wadden Sea) was followed over 14 mo. Fulton’s condition factor K, dry weight condition and the percentage of dry weight were determined as indirect indices, while bomb calorimetry was applied to obtain the energy density and total energy, as direct biochemical measures of condition. General linear models identified sex, size and season as relevant regressors explaining observed variance in crab condition, whereas colour morphotype effect was negligible. The seasonal pattern was consistent with the natural cycling in temperature and expected food availability, but the peak in body condition differed depending on the type of measure used: energy peaked in autumn, while morphometric condition was at its highest in winter, uncovering different latencies in the response of direct and indirect indices. Concordant with higher energy investment in reproduction, body condition and energy content of non-ovigerous females were higher than those of males, and egg-bearing females always had the lowest condition values. Energy content of adult females ranged from 16.37 ± 1.30 (winter 2013) to 19.83 ± 0.54 kJ g-1 ash-free dry weight (AFDW) (autumn 2013), attaining 18.77 ± 1.22 kJ g-1 AFDW prior to the onset of reproduction in 2012, while maximum energy density of ovigerous females (eggs excluded) was 16.49 ± 0.64 kJ g-1 AFDW. Besides low correlation between indirect and direct indices, fluctuations were more pronounced in the energetic data. Therefore, the morphometric measures seem weak surrogates to estimate energy density of these crabs.

KEY WORDS: Fulton’s K · Condition indices · Energy density · Calorimetry · Energy allocation · Wadden Sea

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Cite this article as: Campos J, Ribas F, Bio A, Freitas V, Souza AT, van der Veer HW (2021) Body condition and energy content of shore crab Carcinus maenas in a temperate coastal system: temporal variability. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 667:99-112.

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