Anthropogenic changes to color expression in the mud fiddler crab Uca pugnax
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Uca pugnax, heavy metals, blue streak, human disturbance
Mud fiddler crabs, Uca pugnax, inhabit saltmarshes that experience a wide range of disturbance levels from humans, from pristine to highly disturbed. The species displays a patch on the frontal region of the carapace that can change color for an unknown reason. We photographically measured the color at 21 marshes along the South Carolina coast along a gradient of increasing human impact, mostly from tourism. At each marsh, we correlated color differences with crab size, marsh temperature, and factors associated with humans (distance from road, number of cars, number of pedestrians, heavy metals) with the goal of detecting a correlation between the easily-measured colored patch and less-easily measured metrics of human impacts. If a clear correlation can be found, then this colored patch could potentially be used as a simple bioindicator of the health of a given marsh.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Anderson, Lars III; DiNuzzo, Eleanor R.; Walker, Austen; Sasso, Haley; Christiansen, Ben; and Griffen, Blaine D., "Anthropogenic changes to color expression in the mud fiddler crab Uca pugnax" (2020). Library/Life Sciences Undergraduate Poster Competition 2020. 31.
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