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Keywords:

  • Charybdis bimaculata;
  • Ise Bay;
  • megabenthos;
  • population dynamics

ABSTRACT:  The present study dealt with seasonal and interannual variations in the abundance and biomass, and spatio-temporal distributions of the portunid crab Charybdis bimaculata dominant in Ise Bay, central Japan. The abundance and biomass of the crab decreased in summer when the oxygen-poor water developed in central or inner parts of the bay, and then increased through new recruits from autumn (October–November) to the following spring (March–May) when the oxygen-poor water disappeared. Berried females were collected mainly from spring to autumn. Recruits were collected in any season. Particularly in winter, most recruits were located in the innermost part of the bay. According to the cohort separation based on size frequency distribution in carapace width of the crab specimens, the cohorts that were derived from spawning in spring to summer largely contributed to establishing and maintaining the benthic populations for the following year in the bay, whereas those from other seasons failed to recruit because of serious damage caused by the oxygen-poor water. Most crab individuals one year post hatch contributed to spawning and then died by the winter of the same year.