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Temporal distribution analysis of parrotfish and surgeonfish in "Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel" Mexico
Poster Title: Temporal distribution analysis of parrotfish and surgeonfish in "Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel" Mexico
Submitted on 21 Jun 2016
Author(s): Núñez-Inzunza R. A.1,2, Hernández-Landa R. C.1, Arias-González J. E.2
Affiliations: 1 Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Campus de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias. Departamento de Biología Marina. 2 Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del I.P.N. Unidad-Mérida, Laboratorio de Ecología de Ecosistemas de Arrecifes Coralinos, Departamento Recursos del Mar.
This poster was presented at The 13th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS)
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Abstract: Parrotfish and surgeonfish are two of the largest and most conspicuous families of herbivorous fish in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). They are a key component in structuring the benthic communities of coral reefs, mainly controlling the algae overgrowth. We evaluated the herbivorous fish assemblage, coral, and algae (turf and macroalgae) cover in six fringing coral reef systems in the "Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel" (PNAC) along 30 m transects at depths of 10 to 15 m, from 2005 to 2011. The relative abundance of fish was variable among reefs and between years: surgeonfish decreased considerably (67%),parrotfish also decreased (50%). The dominant species of herbivorous fish in all reefs of the PNAC were Acanthurus coeruleus, Sparisoma viride and Sparisoma aurofrenatum. The results also showed that through years the cover of coral and algae were inversely proportional in nearly all reefs. There is a positive relationship between the most dominant species of herbivores in the presence of algae. Macroalgae and turf algae increased significantly per reef, while coral cover decreased significantly among years. A proportion of variations per reef in the relative abundance of herbivores, coral and algae cover suggest that every reef has a unique biological (coral-benthic algae-herbivorous fish) assemblage. There is evidence that the temporal distribution of parrotfish and surgeonfish among years, affect the coral and benthic algae cover per reef in this period of time.Summary: The interaction of this biological triad in the PNAC is influenced mainly by top-down herbivory forces, need further evidence for bottom-up effects due eutrophication. Illegal fishing, temperature or a deadly fish-coral interaction could affect these reefs sites. The most dominant herbivorous fish responsible to keep these reefs healthy are the bioeroders Sparisoma viride and Sparisoma aurofrenatum; and the browser Acanthurus coeruleus.
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