Latitudinal and local variations of the life history characteristics of the thalassinidean decapod, Upogebia yokoyai: A hypothesis based on trophic conditions

Miho Yamasaki, Takahiro Nanri, Shino Taguchi, Yoshitake Takada, Masayuki Saigusa

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Mean total length of the eldest cohort (MTLe) of the thalassinidean decapod, Upogebia yokoyai sampled at 16 sites showed a latitudinal variation from south-west islands of the Ryukyu Archipelago (24° N) to the Seto-Inland Sea of Japan (34° N). Local variations were however also found from sites in the same latitudes. The level of the organic content in each habitat showed a positive correlation with MTLe. We hypothesized that MTLe is strongly affected by the trophic condition, resulting in the local variations. To test this hypothesis, two estuaries with different organic content were compared; Kodono River (Kochi Prefecture, 33° N) which was relatively oligotrophic and Sakata River (Hiroshima Prefecture, 34° N) which was highly eutrophicated. The Kodono River population showed slow growth after settlement, and growth stopped in May to June. This population survived for only one or two years, resulting in small MTLe. On the other hand, the Sakata River population showed fast growth from August to December. This population survived for three years, resulting in large MTLe. Maturation was estimated to occur two years after settlement in both populations. Low salinities may partially affect MTLe. Habitats in the Seto-Inland Sea (33.5-34.8° N) were eutrophicated, but many habitats in the subtropical islands (24-31° N) were relatively oligotrophic. Latitudinal variation of MTLe was reflected by the geographical difference in trophic condition. A negative relationship between population density and growth was found, which was explained in terms of reduced survival of recruits in the eutrophicated habitats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-356
Number of pages11
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2010



  • cohort length
  • growth pattern
  • latitudinal variation
  • local variation
  • trophic condition
  • Upogebia yokoyai

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography

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