Anthropogenic Impacts on Mangrove Crab Diversity, Relative Abundance and Zonation
April 9, 2019
Department or Program
While studying abroad at the School for Field Studies in Panama, I became fascinated by the unique symbiotic relationship between mangrove trees and crabs in intertidal mangrove forests. Crabs are one of the most abundant groups of fauna that inhabit mangrove forests and are known to play a vital role in soil aeration, nutrient enrichment and propagule establishment. Despite large-scale mangrove deforestation globally, little is known about the impacts of anthropogenic coastal development on the relative abundance, species composition and zonation of mangrove crabs. My study intends to fill in this research gap as the first quantitative description of crab communities in human-disturbed and human-undisturbed mangrove forests in Bocas del Toro, Panama.