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Seasonal winds drive water temperature cycle and migration patterns of Southern Australian giant crab Pseudocarcinus gigas
conference contributionposted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Andrew Levings, Peter Gill
The giant crab Pseudocarcinus gigas occurs along the continental shelf break of southern Australia. During the summer alongshore winds cause cooler water to upwell onto the shelf, and the crabs move from deeper water onto the shelf where there is more food. The combination of a preferred thermal niche and a depth-stratified food supply defines the favorable foraging environments that enhance the growth of P. gigas. Climate change is expected to cause a southerly shift of the austral subtropical high-pressure belt, and modelers have predicted more upwelling-favorable winds. The associated increase in the circulation of cooler water across the shelf is likely to provide P. gigas with an increased access to benthic food resources and their growth rate may increase in some regions.