Abundance, distribution, energy flow and nutrient dynamics of freshwater palaemonid shrimps in lowland Costa Rica
Snyder, Marcia Nicole
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Migratory shrimps are an important component of the aquatic fauna in many regions of the new and old world tropics. Freshwater shrimp are speciose (655 species) and are distributed in every biogeographic province in the world. In aquatic systems, many studies of secondary production and consumption patterns along different trophic pathways of stream invertebrates have increased our understanding of how animals contribute to energy flux and nutrient cycling in ecosystem flow. On islands and particularly, in Puerto Rico, many studies have contributed to our knowledge of the natural history and ecological role of migratory neotropical shrimps, whereas in continental regions, studies of freshwater migratory shrimp have just begun. Freshwater migratory shrimp are functionally important components of tropical island stream ecosystems and play a key role in food web stability, organic matter processing, and nutrient cycling. In addition, they are conduits for movement of energy and matter between marine and freshwater systems. The goal of this dissertation is to expand our knowledge of amphidromous shrimps by examining their distribution, abundance, and roles in energy flow and nutrient cycling in a continental region.