Abstracts Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, 166.1994, Frankfurt a.M.
 

Effects of the 1991 Gulf War oil spill on the crab fauna of intertidal mudflats in the Western Arabian Gulf

A b s t r a c t: Four transects on muddy shores along the Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia were monitored for intertidal Brachyura (Crustacea: Decapoda) between June and November 1992. Two of these sites had been heavily oiled by the 1991 Gulf War oil spill, the other two had not been affected. The latter showed a rich intertidal crab fauna with five species of Ocypodidae, two Grapsidae, one Xanthidae and one Leucosiidae. A distribution pattern with four major zones was found, each dominated by a different ocypodid species. Most of this fauna was missing or drastically reduced on the oiled sites. Recruitment was observed onto one of the affected sites by Cleistostoma dotilliforme and Ilyoplax frater, but it remains to be seen if this will result in a permanent resettlement.

 
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