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International Journal of Zoological Research
Year: 2016  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 1-2  |  Page No.: 1 - 10

Variation of Sediment Properties among the Radial Profiles of Fiddler Crab Burrows in Mangrove Ecosystem

Mohammad Mokhtari, Mazlan Abd Ghaffar, Gires Usup and Zaidi Che Cob    

Abstract: Fiddler crabs burrow creates oxic-anoxic interfaces on the burrow walls. Accordingly burrow walls represent the transitions site between oxic and anoxic condition where the sediment properties varied significantly across it. In this study the burrows of three species of fiddler crabs including Uca rosea, Uca forcipata and Uca pardussumieri were sampled at three depth layers. Sediment properties of burrow walls including; temperature, redox potential, pH, density, porosity, water content, organic content, chlorophyll content and solid phase iron pools were measured to determine the magnitude of burrow effects on mangrove sediments. The results indicated that U. paradussumieri effectively reduced the sediment porosity of surrounding sediments down to 45%. Oxidized layer was more extended around U. paradussumieri burrows. Burrow walls of U. forcipata and U. paradussumieri contain higher water content than ambient sediment and burrows of U. rosea efficiently decreased the organic content of sediment. The PCA biplots indicated that the burrow walls of the all three species of fiddler crabs at 3 and 8 cm depth were correlated with oxidized iron. Ambient sediments of U. forcipata habitat were correlated with reduced iron and organic content. At 20 cm depth, burrow walls of U. paradussumieri were highly correlated with water content, while ambient sediment was correlated with reduced iron. The results of this study revealed that the thickness of oxidized layer varied according to sediment depth and burrow volume. Consequently the burrow effect varied significantly among different species of fiddler crabs as results of different habitat characteristics, sediment types and crab size.

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