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Food sources for camptandriid crabs in an arid mangrove ecosystem of the Persian Gulf: a stable isotope approach
Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies  (IF1.675),  Pub Date : 2021-05-20, DOI: 10.1080/10256016.2021.1925665
Mohammad Reza Hemmati, Mehdi Ghodrati Shojaei, Ali Taheri Mirghaed, Melika Mashhadi Farahani, Maryam Weigt


Crabs of the family Camptandriidae are the most dominant burrowing crabs inhabiting arid mangrove forests of the Persian Gulf. They play important roles in the structuring and functioning of mangrove ecosystems by modulating biogeochemical processes and cycling of nutrients, serving as important ecosystem engineers. We analysed stable carbon (13C) and nitrogen (15N) isotope values of three camptandriid crabs (Opusia indica, Nasima dotilliformis, and Manningis arabicum) and their potential food sources in the Hara Biosphere Reserve, northern Persian Gulf. A Bayesian mixing model was used to estimate the contribution of potential food sources for consumers. The results showed that to some degree, all the four sources selected contributed to the camptandriid diets, but microphytobenthos made the most important contributions to the diet of the consumers. Mangroves do not appear to be a significant source of carbon in the diet of camptandriid crabs in the arid mangrove system of the Persian Gulf. Rather, they offer favourable growing conditions, thus boosting microphytobenthos production and availability for consumers which prefer a high nutritional and palatable source.