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Santa Rita Tlahuapan, Mexico
Santa Rita Tlahuapan, Mexico

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Lopez-Perez R.A.,University of the Sea | Calderon-Aguilera L.E.,CICESE | Reyes-Bonilla H.,Autonomous University of Baja California Sur | Carriquiry J.D.,Autonomous University of Baja California | And 7 more authors.
Marine Ecology | Year: 2012

Corals in the Eastern Pacific extend south from the Gulf of California to Ecuador and oceanic Chile, and west from Colombia to Clipperton Atoll. Nevertheless, large stretches of the Mexican Pacific remain fundamentally unstudied. Therefore, to assess the current conditions of coral communities, a coastal fringe ∼300km long (17°40′N, 101°39′W to 16°46′N, 99°49′W) was surveyed within the Southern Mexican Pacific, between 2005 and 2009. Fifteen stony coral species were identified at 13 coral communities and six Pocillopora-dominated fringing reefs, with Pocillopora verrucosa and Pocillopora damicornis the primary contributing taxa. Reef development was identified in embayments or behind rocks or islands that offered shelter from northern and northwestern winds. Observations of Pocillopora effusus, Pocillopora inflata, Porites lobata, Pavona clavus, and Pavonavarians expanded the species known geographic ranges by several degrees of latitude, suggesting reef building fauna comprised a mixture of widespread and relatively rare Eastern Pacific corals. Results indicated greater live coral cover in the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo area (15-73%) than in the Acapulco localities, which had high algal dominance; the reefs in the latter region exhibited high erosion. Regional differences are likely the result of long-standing anthropogenic pressures around Acapulco since 1950, when it became an important tourist destination. This paper is the first detailed report of ecologically stressed corals and coral reefs from the state of Guerrero on the Mexican Southern Pacific coast. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Funes-Rodriguez R.,CICIMAR | Zarate-Villafranco A.,CICIMAR | Hinojosa-Medina A.,CICIMAR | Gonzalez-Armas R.,CICIMAR | Hernandez-Trujillo S.,CICIMAR
Fisheries Oceanography | Year: 2011

Mesopelagic species are the principal constituents of larval fish assemblages inhabiting the southerly California Current region. Seasonal larval abundance is influenced by circulation of the California Current and subtropical Countercurrent, including regional changes of the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics during the El Niño-Southern Oscillation. This study examines the mesopelagic fish larvae distribution and abundance patterns between seasons and years, with the aim of describing the mesopelagic larval assemblages during dynamic environmental changes induced by El Niño (1997-1998) and the rapid transition to La Niña (1998-2000) along the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula (25-31°N). Despite large oceanographic variability, larval assemblages varied principally on a seasonal basis, related to reproductive periods and the north-south gradient influenced by the seasonal pattern of the California Current. An increased diversity, number of species, and abundance of tropical species was noticeable during the northward expansion of warm-water taxa during El Niño, principally in the northern areas (Ensenada and Punta Baja). After El Niño, population adjustments and rapid recovery occurred during La Niña conditions, which reflected seasonal differences in the mesopelagic community structure that are closely related to the seasonal pattern of oceanic currents. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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