SS1.08 Sensory Ecology, Neurophysiology and Behavior of Zooplankton
Date: Thursday, June 13, 2002
Location: Poster Session - VCC
 
HouserLT, University of Delaware - Graduate College of Marine Studies, Lewes, USA, lthouser@udel.edu
 
PATCH DYNAMICS IN LARVAL CRABS: IS SWIMMING BEHAVIOR IMPORTANT?
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It is generally accepted that larval forms are weak swimmers that are unable to overcome advection in the horizontal plane. Regardless, crab larvae may influence their horizontal distribution, at least on a small spatial scale, by overcoming effects of turbulent diffusion. One example of this is the observation that crab larvae are found in discrete patches in the water column, even in areas where aggregative physical processes (e.g., fronts, pycnoclines) are rare or absent. In areas like these, such biological processes as synchronous spawning events might influence the initial formation of patches and various types of swarming behavior may be important in their maintenance. The research questions here would be: 1) can crab larvae alter their swimming behavior in response to the biological and physical structure in their environment and regulate their position (at a small spatial scale, mm - m) in the dominant flow regime? 2) Does this ability help form and maintain their aggregative patches? 3) Does this affect their displacement and later settlement?