Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Distribution, abundance and assemblages of decapod crustaceans in waters off Guinea-Bissau (north-west Africa)

Isabel Muñoza1 c1, Eva García-Isarcha1, Ignacio Sobrinoa1, Candelaria Burgosa1, Rita Funnya2 and Marcos González-Portoa3

a1 Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C.O. de Cádiz, Puerto Pesquero, Muelle de Levante s/n, 11006 Cádiz (Spain)

a2 Centro de Investigação Pesqueira Aplicada (CIPA), Avenida Amilcar Cabral, C.P. 102, Bissau, Guinea-Bissau

a3 Laboratorio de Zooloxía Mariña, Departamento de Ecoloxía e Bioloxía Animal, Facultade de Ciencias do Mar, Universidade de Vigo, C.P. 36310 Vigo (Pontevedra-Spain)

Abstract

This study constitutes a first contribution to the knowledge of the ecology of the decapod crustaceans in waters off Guinea-Bissau. Samples were collected during a survey undertaken between October and November 2008. A total of 122 species of decapod crustaceans were identified. Results showed an increase of decapod biomass and abundance with depth, reaching maxima values in the 200–500 m depth stratum but decreasing at depths over 500 m. Average diversity by strata increased with depth, with maximum over the deep slope. Seven main assemblages were identified: five primarily associated with depth—coastal shelf (<60 m), shelf (60–200 m), upper slope (200–300 m), middle slope (300–500 m), deep slope (500–1000 m)—and two other northern shelf assemblages affected by sediment type—coastal shelf-north (<50 m) and shelf-north (50–100 m). Species of each assemblage are typified. This study provides new information about composition, distribution, abundance and assemblage structure of decapod crustaceans in Guinea-Bissau that may be useful for future assessment of the effect of trawling pressure in the area.

(Received October 21 2010)

(Accepted October 17 2011)

(Online publication December 09 2011)

Correspondence:

c1 Correspondence should be addressed to: I. Muñoz, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C.O. de Cádiz, Puerto Pesquero, Muelle de Levante s/n, 11006 Cádiz (Spain) email: isabel.munoz@cd.ieo.es