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Effects of population density on female and male burrow characteristics in the fiddler crab, Uca bengali Crane, 1975

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We examined the effects of population density on body size and burrow characteristics of Uca bengali Crane, 1975. We predicted that (1) males in high-density areas (HD) should be larger in size and build higher quality burrows than males in low-density areas (LD), and (2) HD females should be larger in size, but build lower quality burrows than LD females, as HD females can find higher numbers of good quality male burrows around them for breeding and egg incubation. Our results showed that males and females in HD were larger in size than those in LD. Since HD males were larger in size, they built higher quality burrows than males in LD. On the other hand, even though LD females were smaller in size than HD ones, they built higher quality burrows than HD females. Our results thus indicate that density effects both body size and burrow characteristics.

Affiliations: 1: Center of Excellence for Ecoinformatics, School of Science, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat 80161, Thailand


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