Fish predation on mangrove-associated penaeids: The role of structures and substrate
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The effect of habitat structure and substratum on predation of the greasyback shrimp Metapenaeus ensis (De Haan), white shrimp Penaeus merguiensis De Man and tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon Fabricius by sea bass Lates calcarifer Bloch and mangrove snapper Lutjanus argentimaculatus (Forsskal) was evaluated. The shrimp juveniles measured 6–15 mm in carapace length; fish measured 6.5–12.5 cm in standard length; structure types were pneumatophores of the mangrove Sonneratia griffithii Kurz and dried coconut leaf bracts; structure densities were 0, 32 and 98 pneumatophores per tank; and sediment particle sizes were pebbles, sand-granules and silt–sand. Predation on shrimp was significantly higher in controls or bare sand (48.7%) than among pneumatophores (29.9%), but not among leaf bracts (43.5%). Shrimp mortality was also significantly higher on bare sand (72.9%) compared to medium-density (54.2%), but not high-density (68.8%), pneumatophores. Fish predation on the burying shrimp M. ensis was affected by predator type but not by sediment size. The generally higher predation rates of snapper may be due to their habit of leaving unconsumed pieces of shrimp, whereas sea bass which devour whole prey require fewer shrimp to reach satiation. Moreover, the presence of structures did not affect sea bass behaviour of chasing prey among pneumatophores and under leaf bracts, but reduced predation by the relatively passive snapper. Predation rates among pneumatophores vs. control, and among medium-density pneumatophores vs. bare sand, were lower for P. monodon but not P. merguiensis. This may be related to the greater and more frequent use of (laboratory) shelters by juvenile tiger shrimp compared to white shrimp. The results demonstrate that the effective provision of shelter depends not only on structure type and density but on the behaviour of predator and prey as well. The use of mangrove structures (pneumatophores) by juvenile shrimp as refuge from predation is also documented for the first time.
Suggested CitationPrimavera, J. H. (1997). Fish predation on mangrove-associated penaeids: The role of structures and substrate.
Ecological associations; Feeding behaviour; Mangrove swamps; Marine crustaceans; Marine fish; Predation; Protective behaviour; Sheltered habitats; Substrate preferences; Refuges; Shelters; Lates calcarifer; Lutjanus argentimaculatus; Metapenaeus ensis; Penaeus monodon; Sonneratia griffithii; South East Asia
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