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Revista de biología marina y oceanografía

On-line version ISSN 0718-1957

Abstract

GONZALEZ-GANDARA, Carlos  and  SALAS-PEREZ, José de Jesús. Characterization of benthic substrate of Tuxpan reef, Veracruz, Mexico with emphasis on scleractinian coral community. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. [online]. 2019, vol.54, n.3, pp.259-271. ISSN 0718-1957.  http://dx.doi.org/10.22370/rbmo.2019.54.3.2009.

Benthic substrate of Tuxpan reef, Veracruz, Mexico, with emphasis on scleractinian coral community was characterized in order to define a model of richness and coral cover for platform reefs of Veracruz. 117 phototransects were distributed in 4 zones and 16 reef habitats during 2015. A total of 2,920 photographs were taken on transects with 25 m in length for estimate morpho functional groups (MFG) and coral cover using the Coral Point Count program. Richness and coral cover were compared in order to determine their similarity between zones and reef habitats regarding MFG and coral cover using statistical or ecological tests. Scleractinian coral community of Tuxpan reef was composed by 36 species and the richness showed differences between zones and was greater in reef slopes. According with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) and ANOSIM, the GMF and species coral cover characterized 4 reef zones: reef flat, reef crest, windward slope and leeward slope. Leeward coral cover was inversely proportional to depth, higher values were observed on 3 to 15 m depth. Windward coral cover did not show relationship with depth, the higher values were detected on 10 to 20 m. The characterization of Tuxpan reef could serve as model of platform reefs of Veracruz as well as to management plans of this Natural Protected Area, especially on snorkel and diving practices.

Keywords : Characterization; coral cover; morpho functional groups; Gulf of Mexico.

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