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Neotropical Ichthyology

Print version ISSN 1679-6225


CABALLERO-VAZQUEZ, José Adán  and  VEGA-CENDEJAS, María Eugenia. Spatial patterns of diversity at local and regional scales in a tropical lagoon. Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2012, vol.10, n.1, pp.99-108. ISSN 1679-6225.

The present study reports estimates of alpha (α), beta (β) and gamma (Γ) diversity for the fish community of Chacmochuch Lagoon (SE Mexico), a natural protected area located in the northern portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Fish specimens were sampled in 2004 and 2006. Field work was carried out at three climatic peaks: at 13 stations using a 70 m-long beach seine. The collected data were supplemented with information obtained from a previous work conducted in 2002 and were then analyzed with multivariate statistical methods. In addition, fish composition results from this study were compared to those reported for other similar ecosystems of the region. A total of 68 fish species were recorded, determined as peripheral (high-salinity species, usually marine affinity) most of them. Most of the fish species collected were determined as rare, and a few number of species were determined as common and dominant. Salinity, TSD, temperature, dissolved oxygen and other variables were measured to determine the influence over the fish communities, four groups of sites where determined. Results indicated a gradual decrease in the degree of species replacement towards the interior of the system (away from the coast). The estimated value of gamma diversity was high compared to that reported for other coastal systems of the region and, due to the high degree of habitat heterogeneity found in this system; beta diversity had a greater contribution to gamma diversity than alpha diversity. This lagoon acts as a nursing area for many of the fish species collected in this study as indicated by the presence of juvenile stages.

Keywords : Alpha; beta and gamma diversity; Caribbean; Ichthyofauna; Mexico; Natural protected area.

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