Address:118 Blake Hall, Cook Campus
Phone: (732) 932-3385
For the last decade, I have been engaged in research on the ecology of the Atlantic horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus L. This ancient Merostomatid is most abundant in Delaware Bay, relative to it's range from Taunton Inlet in Maine, to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Adults spawn along the beaches of Cape May and Cumberland Counties from late April through June, depositing huge quantities of eggs, which are fed upon by migratory shorebirds.
Central to the persistence of the horseshoe crab is the current concern for it's preservation in the face of extensive exploitation and habitat destruction. Although I continue to address issues such as the evolution and paleontology, as well as the life history of these beasts, my recent research has focused on the very survival of the species itself. Most of my research has been in conjunction with Dr. Mark L. Botton of Fordham University, and with colleagues from Woods Hole, University of Delaware, VIMS, Florida State, and a number of Japanese colleagues. This research has been sponsored by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, the NJ Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, both Rutgers and Fordham Universities, and by the NJ Sea Grant Program.
Recent publications include:
Loveland, R. E. and M. L. Botton. Size dimorphism and the mating system in horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus L.). Animal Behaviour 44: 907-916 (1992).
Botton, M. L., R. E. Loveland and T. R. Jacobsen. Overwintering by trilobite larvae of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus L., on a sandy beach of Delaware Bay, New Jersey. Marine Ecology Progress Series 88: 289-292 (1992).
Botton, M. L. and R. E. Loveland. Predation by herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on horseshoe crabs. The Wilson Bulletin 105(3): 518-521 (1993).
Botton, M. L., R. E. Loveland and T. R. Jacobsen. Site selection by migratory shorebirds in Delaware Bay, and its relationship to beach characteristics and abundance of horseshoe crab, (Limulus polyphemus) eggs. The Auk 111(3): 605-616 (1994).
Graedel, Susannah K. and R. E. Loveland. Seasonal and diurnal mass variation in Black-capped Chickadees and White-throated Sparrows. The Wilson Bulletin 107(4): 723-727 (1995).
Loveland, R. E., M. L. Botton, and C. N. Shuster. The life history of the American horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus L.) in Delaware Bay and its importance as a commercial resource. Univ. of Delaware Sea Grant Publications (1996).
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