In an experimental laboratory study with the megalopa stage of Armases roberti, a freshwater-inhabiting species of crab from the Caribbean region, we evaluated the combined, potentially antagonistic effects of odours from conspecific adults and of stepwise salinity reductions (simulating upstream migration, reaching within 1 week conditions of 2 or freshwater). Neither of these treatments affected the rate of survival, but the duration of development to metamorphosis was significantly (by about 25%) shortened, when odours from conspecific adult crabs were present, regardless of the salinity conditions. Our results indicate that the metamorphosis-stimulating effect of chemical cues from an adult population of A. roberti is far stronger than the potentially retarding effect of increasing hypoosmotic stress. This suggests that the final phase of larval development, including the processes of settlement and metamorphosis, occurs in this species in freshwater habitats, where conspecific populations live.
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > CO2-Coastal diversity - key species and food webs
Helmholtz Research Programs > MARCOPOLI (2004-2008) > CO3-Chemical Interactions - ecological function and effects