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Debrot A.O.,Institute for Marine Research and Ecosystem Studies | van Rijn J.,Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences | Bron P.S.,Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences | de Leon R.,Stinapa Bonaire
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2013

Data on beach debris and tar contamination is provided for 21 natural beach sites in Bonaire, Southeastern Caribbean. Transects amounting to a combined length of 991m were sampled March-May 2011 and a total of 8960 debris items were collected. Highest debris and tar contamination were found on the beaches of the windward east-coast of the island where geometric mean debris concentrations (± approx. 70% confidence limits) were 115±58itemsm-1 and 3408±1704gm-1 of beach front. These levels are high compared to data collected almost 20years earlier on the nearby island of Curaçao. Tar contamination levels averaged 223gm-1 on windward beaches. Contamination levels for leeward west-coast beaches were generally two orders of magnitude less than windward beaches. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Debrot A.O.,Institute for Marine Research and Ecosystem Studies | Vinke E.,Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences | van der Wende G.,Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences | Hylkema A.,Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences | Reed J.K.,Florida Atlantic University
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2014

Baseline data on anthropogenic seafloor debris contamination in the year 2000 is provided for 24 submersible video transects at depths of 80-900 m, off the Dutch ABC-islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao), in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. In total, 202 objects were documented from a combined 21,184 m of transect, ranging from sandy lower island-slope to rocky upper island-slope habitat. Debris densities differed significantly with depth. Highest debris accumulation (0.459 items 100 m-2 or 4590 items per km2) occurred at depths of 300-600 m on more shallow-sloping (20-30°) sand and silt bottoms. The overall average debris density was 0.27 objects per 100 m2 (or 2700 items per km2), which is an order of magnitude higher than most other deepwater debris studies. What we describe may be representative for other small, populated, steep volcanic Caribbean islands. Food and beverage-related items were the single largest usage category identified (44% of objects; mostly glass beverage bottles). © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Hylkema A.,Institute for Marine Research and Ecosystem Studies | Hylkema A.,Wageningen University | Vogelaar W.,Institute for Marine Research and Ecosystem Studies | Vogelaar W.,Wageningen University | And 3 more authors.
Estuaries and Coasts | Year: 2015

The importance of mangrove and seagrass lagoonal habitats as nursery areas for many reef-associated fish species is well established in the scientific literature. However, few studies have examined the relative use by nursery species of different sub-habitats within such systems. Here, we investigated fish community structure of a variety of interconnected sub-habitats of the tropical lagoon of Lac Bay in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Visual census was used to test the degree to which these sub-habitats may differ in their use by fishes of different species and life stages. We quantitatively sampled the fish species abundance, composition, and size structures at a total of 162 sites distributed among nine different sub-habitats that are common to mangrove and seagrass ecosystems. Fish community variables differed consistently among sub-habitats and were mainly influenced by the presence of mangrove root structure or seagrass cover. Mangrove fringe sub-habitats were a premier habitat since multiple life stages of a variety of species showed highest densities and biomass there. Several reef fish species had a distribution pattern suggesting a unique stepwise post-settlement life cycle migration in which larger juveniles and/or subadults appear to move from the open bay environment (seagrass beds or bay mangrove fringe) to the interior mangrove fringes along mangrove pools before later departing to the adult habitat of the coral reef. In the case of the well-lit and well-circulated central bay sub-habitat, the limiting factor to fish abundance and diversity appeared to be the paucity of three-dimensional shelter due to the lack of Thalassia seagrass beds. In the warm and hypersaline backwaters, physiological tolerance limits were likely a key limiting factor. Long-term changes driven by mangrove expansion into this non-estuarine lagoon have been steadily reducing the net coverage of clear bay waters, while the surface of shallow, muddy, and hypersaline backwaters, unusable by key nursery reef fish species, has been increasing by an almost equal amount. Our study shows how fish density varies along the full gradient of sub-habitats found across a tropical bay to provide insight into the potential consequences for nursery habitat function when the availability and quality of these sub-habitats change in response to the long-term dynamic processes of mangrove land reclamation and climate change. © 2014, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.

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