Acuario Nacional de Cuba

Playa, Cuba

Acuario Nacional de Cuba

Playa, Cuba
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Aragon H.C.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba | Alcolado P.M.,Institute Oceanologia | Rey-Villiers N.,Institute Oceanologia
Revista de Biologia Tropical | Year: 2016

Wave exposure can influence community structure and distribution of shallow coral reefs, by affecting organisms both directly and indirectly. To assess the current stony coral community condition under different degrees of wave exposure at a marine protected area of the Gulf of Cazones (SW Cuba), two expeditions were carried out in May 2010 and June 2012. Four sampling sites were sampled at reef crests (1.5 m deep), and twelve at fore-reefs, at 10, 15 and 20 m deep in four geographic locations. Live coral cover, species richness and composition, colony density, and maximum diameter were assessed using the AGRRA 2001 methodology. Multivariate and non-parametric statistics were applied to compare sites. The coral community structure within reef crests was not homogenous. The observed variability of indicators apparently was determined by great coral mortality events resulting from natural disturbances that occurred in the past (hurricanes, bleaching and diseases). Forereef coral communities displayed better condition and lower coral mortality than reef crests. Species richness and coral composition varied, while multivariate and statistical methods did not reveal site grouping with regard to wave exposure. The remaining biological condition indicators were similar among sites, except in the most exposed one, where coral cover and coral size were slightly lower. Wave exposure in the gulf of Cazones seemed not to have a significant influence on differences in condition and structure of the assessed coral communities. © 2016, Universidad de Costa Rica. All rights reserved.


Garcia-Machado E.,University of Habana | Hernandez D.,University of Habana | Garcia-Debras A.,Cuban Society of Zoology | Chevalier-Monteagudo P.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2011

Underground environments are increasingly recognized as reservoirs of faunal diversity. Extreme environmental conditions and limited dispersal ability of underground organisms have been acknowledged as important factors promoting divergence between species and conspecific populations. However, in many instances, there is no correlation between genetic divergence and morphological differentiation. Lucifuga Poey is a stygobiotic fish genus that lives in Cuban and Bahamian caves. In Cuba, it offers a unique opportunity to study the influence of habitat fragmentation on the genetic divergence of stygobiotic species and populations. The genus includes four species and one morphological variant that have contrasting geographical distributions. In this study, we first performed a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Lucifuga Cuban species using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. The mitochondrial phylogeny revealed three deeply divergent clades that were supported by nuclear and morphological characters. Within two of these main clades, we identified five lineages that are candidate cryptic species and a taxonomical synonymy between Lucifuga subterranea and Lucifuga teresinarum. Secondly, phylogeographic analysis using a fragment of the cytochrome b gene was performed for Lucifuga dentata, the most widely distributed species. We found strong geographical organization of the haplotype clades at different geographic scales that can be explained by episodes of dispersal and population expansion followed by population fragmentation and restricted gene flow. At a larger temporal scale, these processes could also explain the diversification and the distribution of the different species. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Castellanos-Gell J.,University of Habana | Robainas-Barcia A.,Pierre Fabre | Chevalier-Monteagudo P.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba | Metcalfe C.,CSIRO | And 4 more authors.
Marine Biology | Year: 2016

We aimed to identify biotic and abiotic factors underlying genetic structure and diversity of reef fish around Cuba. For three species, Stegastes partitus, Haemulon flavolineatum and Acanthurus tractus, we investigated the effects of shared environmental factors, such as the geography of the Cuban Archipelago, and specific characteristics, such as life history traits, on genetic structure and diversity. Samples were collected at five locations around Cuba. For S. partitus and H. flavolineatum, mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite loci were examined, whereas only mitochondrial DNA polymorphism was analyzed for A. tractus. All three species showed high genetic diversity. Mismatch distribution analyses suggest past population expansion in all species, but at different times in each species. Haplotype network and population genetic analyses suggest that: (1) S. partitus went through a recent population bottleneck in the late Pleistocene, (2) H. flavolineatum went through a population bottleneck but earlier, in the mid-Pleistocene, and (3) A. tractus has had a large and stable population size with coalescence times that go back to the late Pliocene. Genetic polymorphism in H. flavolineatum and A. tractus is homogeneous throughout the archipelago, whereas there is significant genetic structure in S. partitus. Genetic differentiation among S. partitus populations is most likely the result of the combined effects of egg type and oceanic current patterns along the Cuban coast. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Castellanos-Gell J.,University of Habana | Castellanos-Gell J.,University Paris - Sud | Robainas-Barcia A.,University of Habana | Robainas-Barcia A.,University of Barcelona | And 3 more authors.
Marine Biology | Year: 2012

Dispersal varies among species according to different biological and environmental factors. It is known that there is strong genetic division between the Ocean Surgeonfish (Acanthurus tractus) and the Barber Surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus) in the Caribbean and southern Atlantic biogeographic provinces with relation to the Amazon-Orinoco outflows. We analyzed cytb gene sequence diversity from 149 individuals collected at five localities around Cuba between October 2006 and February 2010. As expected, most individuals had haplotypes identical or closely related to those previously reported for the Caribbean. However, south Atlantic lineage haplotypes were also found in all surveyed localities with frequencies around 5 %. This finding suggests that A. bahianus has dispersed in recent times across the Amazon-Orinoco barrier, probably because environmental perturbations have aided dispersal. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Acuario Nacional de Cuba, University of Habana, Laval University and University Paris - Sud
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Consistent with the limited dispersal capacity of most troglobitic animals, almost all Lucifuga cavefish species have very narrow geographic distribution in Cuba. However, one species, L. dentata, has a wide but disjointed distribution over 300 km in the west of the island. In order to estimate the relative role of vicariance and dispersal in the unexpected L. dentata distribution, we obtained partial sequences of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome b (cytb) gene and control region (CR), and then applied Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC), based on the identification of five genetic and geographic congruent groups of populations. The process that best explains the distribution of genetic diversity in this species is sequential range expansion from east Matanzas to the western Pinar del Ro provinces, followed by isolation of groups of populations. We found relative high haplotype diversity and low nucleotide diversity in all but the Havana group, which has high values for both diversity parameters, suggesting that this group has been demographically stable over time. For two groups of populations (Cayuco and Bolondrn), the mismatch distribution analyses suggests past demographic expansion. In the case of the Cayuco region, the star like relationships of haplotypes in the network suggests a recent founding event, congruent with other evidence indicating that this is the most recently colonized region. Over all, the results suggest that a combination of habitat availability, temporal interconnections, and possibly the biological properties of this species, may have enabled its dispersal and range expansion compared to other species of the genus, which are more geographically restricted.


Varela C.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba | De Figueroa J.M.T.,University of Granada | Luis S.-T.,University of Granada
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

A new species of Entoprocta belonging to the genus Loxosomella is described: L. cubana n. sp. It has been found on the coast of Cuba living as an epizoite on the sponge Aiolochroia crassa. It is one of the largest Loxosomatidae described up to now and the first record of an entoproct for Cuba. © 2011 Magnolia Press.


Parra M.G.,Institute Medicina Tropical Pedro Kouri | Fidalgo C.L.M.,Institute Medicina Tropical Pedro Kouri | Olga Castaneda Pasaron C.,University of Habana | Delgado N.G.,University of Habana | Hernandez A.P.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba
Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical | Year: 2012

Introduction: infections caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania are a global health problem with a high prevalence in underdeveloped countries. There is no vaccine against this disease at present and the treatment used is poor, so the search for more effective and safe medicines is an urgent need. Objective: to assess the in vitro antileishmanial activity of six aqueous and hydroalcohol extracts from marine organisms. Methods: the activity of six extracts against Leishmania amazonensis promastigots and amastigots as well as their toxicity against peritoneal macrophages in BALB/c mice. Results: in the promastigot assay, the extracts from Bryothamnion triquetrum, Bunodosoma granulifera, Halimeda opuntia and Physalia physalis showed growth inhibition at concentrations lower than 100 μg/mL whereas in amastigots, these last two extracts were the most active and least toxic with a selectivity index of 6 and 8 respectively. Conclusions: taking these results into account, it was considered that the H. opuntia and P. physalis extracts showed a promising activity, so it is suggested that further studies on its in vivo activity be conducted.


The infracommunity of parasites of Chromis cyanea (Pisces: Pomacentridae) was studied along the ontogenetic development in the North coast of Havana, Cuba. The objectives were: a- to prove that the core species appears before the strange and stochastic species and they are responsible for the structure in the infracommunity, b- to determine if there is a relationship among the ecological describers of the parasitic infracommunity with the total length. A total of 278 specimens of C. cyanea were captured during the dry season (April) of 2010. The body size range was from 1.5 to 11.5 cm including juvenile and adults. We collected 2 861 parasite specimens belonging to 20 taxa: Crustacea (5), Nematoda (5), Trematoda (4), Cestoda (2), Monogenea (2), Turbellaria (1) and Ciliophora (1). The taxa Tetraphyllidea and Anilocra chromis constituted the core of the parasitic infracommunity. The sequence of appearance and persistence of these taxa during the ontogenetic development, supported the hypothesis of the core species. The changes in the infracommunity, from 6 cm body size, could be the result of an accumulative effect combined with changes of the diet that caused the ingestion of new parasite infective stages. We concluded that the ontogenetic development of C. cyanea constitutes an important variable in the formation of the parasitic infracommunity. © 2015, Universidad de Costa Rica. All rights reserved.


Rodriguez A.,Institute Ecologia y Sistematica | De La Nuez D.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba | Alonso R.,University of Habana
Journal of Herpetology | Year: 2010

We analyzed variation in the advertisement calls among three localities of Eleutherodactylus glamyrus, a frog endemic to the Sierra Maestra mountains in Eastern Cuba. We assessed the levels of within-male variation of each call property and the influence of temperature and size of calling male on acoustical features. The typical single-note advertisement call of the species was described using temporal and spectral parameters. Rise time and frequency modulation were highly variable within individuals, whereas dominant frequency and call duration were the most stereotyped properties. Call rate showed an intermediate level of variation. Air temperature strongly influenced call rate and call group duration. Snoutvent length (SVL) strongly influenced dominant frequency and rise time. Localities differed in call rate, call duration, and rise time. This acoustic differentiation might be the result of past divergences arising from a distribution gap between the two mountain massifs surveyed. Because acoustical features are increasingly used in interspecific or intraspecific comparisons in the genus Eleutherodactylus, we encourage researchers to assess whether temperature or SVL have sufficiently important effects on their data and use statistical procedures to remove these confounding factors. The multinote call of the species is quantitatively described for the first time. This call type resembles that of other members of the genus and probably carries an aggressive message. © 2010 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.


Baisre J.A.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

The recent extnction of the Caribbean monk seal Monachus tropicalis has been considered an example of a human-caused extinction in the marine environment, and this species was considered a driver of the changes that have occurred in the structure of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems since colonial times. I searched archaeological records, historical data, and geographic names (used as a proxy of the presence of seals) and evaluated the use and quality of these data to conclude that since prehistoric times the Caribbean monk seal was always rare and vulnerable to human predation. This finding supports the hypothesis that in AD 1500, the Caribbean monk seal persisted as a small fragmented population in which individuals were confined to small keys, banks, or isolated islands in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. This hypothesis is contrary to the assumption that the species was widespread and abundant historically. The theory that the main driver of monk seal extinction was harvesting for its oil for use in the sugar cane industry of Jamaica during the 18th century is based primarily on anecdotal information and is overemphasized in the literature. An analysis of reported human encounters with this species indicates monk seal harvest was an occasional activity, rather than an ongoing enterprise. Nevertheless, given the rarity of this species and its restricted distribution, even small levels of hunting or specimen collecting must have contributed to its extinction, which was confirmed in the mid-20th century. Some sources had been overlooked or only partially reviewed, others misinterpreted, and a considerable amount of anecdotal information had been uncritically used. Critical examination of archaeological and historical records is required to infer accurate estimations of the historical abundance of a species. In reconstructing the past to address the shifting baseline syndrome, it is important to avoid selecting evidence to confirm modern prejudices. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

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