Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-280
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2022-280
 
13 Jun 2022
13 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Role of abiotic drivers on crab burrow distribution in a saltmarsh wetland

Xue Chen1,2, Zeng Zhou1,3, Qiang He4, Heyue Zhang1, Tjeerd Bouma5, Zheng Gong1, Ian Townend1,6, and Changkuan Zhang2 Xue Chen et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
  • 2Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Coast Ocean Resources Development and Environment Security, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
  • 3Nantong Ocean and Coastal Engineering Research Institute, Hohai University, Nantong 226000, China
  • 4School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
  • 5Department of Estuarine and Delta Systems, Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Yerseke, The Netherlands
  • 6Ocean and Earth Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

Abstract. Crab burrows play an important role in saltmarsh wetlands and are a useful indicator of wetland condition. The spatiotemporal distribution of crab burrows varies considerably in tidal wetlands. However, the reasons for these variations are poorly understood, in part, due to the limited availability of comprehensive field data. Based on a two-year continuous observation at a tidal wetland in the northern Jiangsu Coast, China, this study explored the relationship between crab burrow density and environmental variables, including median grain size, water content, organic matter content, soil salinity, and elevation. Our results show that the distribution of crab burrows was unimodal across the shore in winter and spring (Nov–Apr) when air temperature was relatively low, while bimodal in summer and autumn (May–Oct) when temperature was relatively high. The density of crab burrows was larger at areas with higher water content, higher organic matter content, and lower soil salinity, while it was lower with stronger hydrodynamics and lower suspended sediment concentration. Crab burrows were more abundant in vegetated areas than in un-vegetated areas. A backward stepwise model selection was performed based on R-square and Akaike information criterion (AIC) to distinguish the main driving factors that determine crab burrow distribution. Results suggested that the principal driving factors were organic matter content and soil salinity in all the seasons, with the addition of water content in warm seasons. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive field dataset for a more in-depth understanding of crab burrow distribution and a scientific basis for sustainable management of tidal wetlands.

Xue Chen et al.

Status: open (until 31 Jul 2022)

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Xue Chen et al.

Data sets

Role of abiotic drivers on crab burrow distribution in a saltmarsh wetland Xue Chen https://github.com/ddmao728/Role-of-abiotic-drivers-on-crab-burrow-distribution-in-a-saltmarsh-wetland/tree/main

Xue Chen et al.

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Short summary
We carry out a two-year continuous observation in the northern Jiangsu Coast. Our results show that: The distribution of crab burrows was unimodal across the shore in cold seasons, and bimodal in warm seasons. The density of crab burrows was lower in sites with stronger hydrodynamics and lower suspended sediment concentration. The governing factors of crab burrow distribution in cold seasons were organic matter content and soil salinity, while in warm seasons water content also played a role.