The relation of fundamental abiotic factors on spawning behavior of the Horseshoe Crab, Limulus polyphemus.
Klug, Zachary T.
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The management of fisheries is key in preserving the health of a species population. Spawning activity of a species can be a good indicator of the progress and direction that the population is heading. Optimal conditions for spawning activity are, at this time, unknown for the horseshoe crab, L. polyphemus. By measuring spawning abundance in various conditions the optimal environment for spawning activity could be found. Horseshoe crab spawning activity in correlation with salinity, water temperature, and moon phase, were all measured. The conditions in which the greatest abundance was observed are considered optimal conditions for spawning. Highest abundance was observed at a salinity of 22 ppt, water temperature of 37°C, and during full and new moon periods. This research paired with future research can track and predict the dynamics of the horseshoe crab population with change in the environment.