Response of Ocypode quadrata to storm waves on an urbanized sandy beach


  • Fernanda Ramos Fernandes de Oliveira
  • Leonardo Querobim Yokoyama



Extreme climate events cause major disturbances to the fauna of sandy beaches. For abiotic-controlled species, storm waves play a significant role in controlling populations. Considering the projected increase in the frequency of extreme climate events and the consequential influence on benthic macrofauna, there is a need to adjust the time-scale of observations. In this context, we conducted weekly monitoring of the ghost crab Ocypode quadrata on an urbanized sandy beach in southeast Brazil to evaluate the effect of storm waves on population dynamics. The effect of storm wave events was not as strong as expected, but two of the 8 registered storm events provoked an increase in density of O. quadrata. Although not significant, after events 4-5, the population suffered a decrease in density and burrows were concentrated in the upper supralittoral, probably because of contiguous effect of habitat reduction by trampling and the storm waves. It is probable that the combination of storm wave events in conjunction with urbanization could have prevented the population recovery by reducing the overall recruitment or even causing mortality or migration towards safer areas. Multi-factor approaches are needed to better understand the dynamics of O. quadrata in urbanized beaches, however, our study showed that weekly monitoring allowed us to record subtle variations in population dynamics that would go unregistered with other approaches but might reveal long-term changes.


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How to Cite

Oliveira, F. R. F. de, & Yokoyama, L. Q. . (2021). Response of Ocypode quadrata to storm waves on an urbanized sandy beach. Ocean and Coastal Research, 69, 11.



Original Article