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Title: Decapod crustacean larvae in Scottish (UK) coastal plankton
Author: Pan Anon, Maria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 6441
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
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Decapod larval assemblages were studied at two sites in Scottish coastal waters, Stonehaven and Loch Ewe.  Plankton data from 4.5 years at Stonehaven and from 2 years at Loch Ewe were analysed, allowing the study of decapod larval cycles, species composition and seasonality at these locations.  An 8 years time series of weekly data on total abundance of decapod larvae from Stonehaven and 4 years and 8 months time series from Loch Ewe were also studied.  The influence of environmental variables in the patterns observed was analysed using mixed modelling techniques.  The results showed differences in abundance, although not in diversity, between the two sampling locations. The temperature was the main factor affecting the patterns observed, followed by food availability (expressed as chlorophyll a) and salinity. Artificial substrates were employed to study the settlement and the early establishment phases for the decapod community at Stonehaven area.  Species composition and occurrence of megalopae and juveniles and links with the mesoplanktonic larvae were studied.  A significant correlation was detected between the abundance of megalopae and early juveniles in the collectors and the abundance of decapod larvae in the plankton a month earlier.  The same was observed for the species Pisidia longicornis, but not for other taxa. Real-Time PCR was successfully employed in the identification of Liocarcinus depurator, Cancer pagurus, Carcinus maenas and Necora puber larvae.  This technique allowed inference of the annual cycle of L. depurator and showed the potential of this method to obtain relative quantifications of the larvae. A photographic guide for the decapod species identified was created, providing a good overview of the species present in these two Scottish coastal locations, useful as a complementary tool to the dichotomous keys.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available