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Title: Rapid population recovery of Ocypode ceratophthalmus (Pallas, 1772) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Ocypodidae) after an oil spill in Singapore
Authors: Lim, Shirley S. L.
Yong, Adeline Yean Pin
Keywords: Biological indicator
Ghost crabs
Tropical oil spill
Population ecology
Sandy shores
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Lim, S. S. L., & Yong, A. Y. P. (2015). Rapid population recovery of Ocypode ceratophthalmus (Pallas, 1772) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Ocypodidae) after an oil spill in Singapore. The Raffles Bulletin Of Zoology, 63, 270-278.
Abstract: An oil spill occurred in the Straits of Singapore (one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes) on 25 May 2010. Pre- and post-oil spill population parameters (i.e., abundances, densities, burrow diameters, location of burrows with respect to shore height and size-distribution gradient) of the ghost crab Ocypode ceratophthalmus on two adjacent beaches at East Coast Park, Singapore, were compared to study the extent of impact and subsequent recovery rate. The ghost crab population, which was decimated after the oil spill, rebounded within three months to densities close to those that were observed prior to the oil spill. The lower boundary of the recolonised population in September 2010 and January 2011 shifted upshore by about 0.4 m from that documented in September 2006. The zone that was recolonised was between 2.6 m and 2.8 m above Chart Datum in January 2011, directly above the upper limit of the region contacted by the spilled oil, indicating that the crabs avoided settling in sediments that contained oil residues. No distinct size distribution gradient on the shore was observed in the pre- and postspill populations. This study confirms that the abundance and distribution of O. ceratophthalmus provide reliable, sensitive and effective indications of the conditions of beach habitats.
ISSN: 0217-2445 (print)
2345-7600 (online)
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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