A high-salinity embayment located near Beaufort, North Carolina was surveyed to create a bathymetric profile of the main basin. To examine population dynamics and habitat use within the embayment, over 3,000 blue crab locations, sex, size, and egg stage were recorded during nocturnal low tides. Males and females partitioned habitat, with males concentrated in the shallower upper portion of the embayment, and mature females concentrated near the deeper mouth of the embayment. Juvenile females were predominantly found in shallower areas within mature male habitat. Location of ovigerous crabs varied with egg developmental stage. Crabs with late-stage eggs were found closest to the mouth of the embayment, and 92.9% (156 of 168) of ovigerous crabs left the embayment before larval release and may not have returned. Because the embayment is homogenous at 35 psu, a salinity gradient is not the primary mechanism underlying this segregation. We hypothesize that tidal activity rhythms and microhabitat selection contribute to the observed spatial patterns.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 28 • No. 3