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A morphological approach for relating decapod crustacean cephalothorax shape with distribution in the water column

AuthorsSardà, Francisco ; Company, Joan B. ; Costa, Corrado
Issue DateJul-2005
CitationMarine Biology 147(3): 611-618 (2005)
AbstractCephalothorax profiles for individuals of 18 decapod crustacean species were obtained from pictures of specimens captured using various experimental bottom trawls in the Mediterranean basin, at depths ranging from 200 to 4000 m in 2000 and 2002. Profiles were compared using the shape (outline) of the entire cephalothorax (including and excluding the rostrum). Principal component analysis (PCA) of the profiles, rostrum included, yielded two large species groupings related to rostrum size, species having a long rostrum being clustered on the positive portion of the first axis and species having a short rostrum being clustered on the negative portion of this same axis (the F1 axis explained 72.17% of the total variance). The PCA separated pelagic and endobenthic animals (with short rostrums) from nektobenthic animals (with long rostrums). Only the two deepest-dwelling species (dwelling at depths below 2000 m) were distanced from their respective groups. The pelagic shrimp Acanthephyra pelagica was clearly grouped with the nektobenthic species despite being reported to have a pelagic habitat. The nektobenthic deep-sea species Nematocarcinus exilis has a relatively medium-size rostrum and was placed among the pelagic–endobenthic species. The endobenthic and pelagic groups remained stable even when rostral morphometrics were excluded from the PCA analysis. The hypothesis that predation and diet are the fundamental determining factors for all habitats throughout most of the lifetimes of individuals and hence that species will evolve specialised phenotypes to adapt to local environmental conditions is considered in the discussion
Description8 pages. 5 figures, 1 table
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00227-005-1576-y
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