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Influence of saltmarsh habitat modification for mosquito control on shore crab populations in southeast Queensland

Authors:

M. J. Breitfuss ,

H. F. Chapman,

P. E.R. Dale,

P. Thomas

Abstract

Modern mosquito control in coastal wetlands integrates chemical, biological and physical techniques. Habitat modification, using runnelling methods, provides permanent and effective mosquito control with few apparent environmental impacts. In this study, we aim to assess impacts on the abundance and distribution of two common saltmarsh crabs, Helograpsus haswellianus and Parasesarma erythrodactyla, at two saltmarshes in southeast Queensland runnelled for mosquito control. Both crabs are adapted to different substrate conditions and so are likely to reflect impacts from runnelling which influence substrate characteristics. The abundances of H. haswellianus and P. erythrodactyla were significantly different between runnelled and unrunnelled sites at both saltmarshes. However, higher H. haswellianus abundance was recorded at the unrunnelled Coomera Island sites and lower abundance at the Tingalpa Creek unrunnelled saltmarsh whereas the opposite was the case for P. erythrodactyla. The fact that the crab species were not recorded in similar numbers at the two modified sites may, in part, be due to patterns in substrate characteristics associated with the presence of runnels. The implications for future studies and impact assessment for mosquito control in coastal wetlands is discussed.
How to Cite: Breitfuss, M.J., Chapman, H.F., Dale, P.E.R. and Thomas, P., 2006. Influence of saltmarsh habitat modification for mosquito control on shore crab populations in southeast Queensland. Wetlands Australia, 22(1), pp.pp. 1–10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.31646/wa.255
Published on 28 Feb 2006.
Peer Reviewed

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