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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI:

Effect of biological and anthropogenic sound on the orientation behavior of four species of Brachyuran crabs

María P. Sal Moyano, María Ceraulo*, Fernando J. Hidalgo, Tomás Luppi, Jesús Nuñez, Craig A. Radford, Salvatore Mazzola, María A. Gavio, Giuseppa Buscaino

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The settlement phase of crustaceans is critical and can ultimately affect population structure. Underwater sound has been proposed as one of the most important sensory cues these animals use during this phase because it can provide direction and habitat quality information. Here, we evaluated the effect of different acoustic signals (biological and anthropogenic ones) on the orientation response of different stages (megalopae and juveniles) of four crab's (Cyrtograpsus angulatus, C. altimanus, Neohelice granulata, Leptuca uruguayensis) from a coastal lagoon. A binary choice chamber system was used and different sound sources: crustacean, fish and motorboat signals selected from recordings of the lagoon soundscape, were reproduced. Cyrtograpsus angulatus megalopae and juveniles responded positively towards crustacean signals, while juveniles responded negatively towards fish sounds. N. granulata juveniles orientated negatively towards crustacean, motorboat and fish signals. C. altimanus and L. uruguayensis juveniles did not respond to fish signals. The results motivate the idea that invertebrates can discriminate among conspecific signals and highlight the role of sound on prey-predator relationships. The behavioral orientation response to the motorboat sound evidences a presumable negative effect of the anthropogenic sound on the biological interactions of species. This is important to note given the urgent need to increase knowledge about coastal marine lagoons for their protection, especially considering the role of the key species of studied crabs in this habitat.