Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR

Santa Marta, Colombia

Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR

Santa Marta, Colombia

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Gracia A.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Rangel-Buitrago N.,University of Cádiz | Sellanes J.,Católica del Norte University | Sellanes J.,University of Concepción
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2012

Several species of bivalves belonging to families which are typically associated with reducing conditions, like those observed at methane seep sites, have been obtained in recent explorations of the Caribbean Sea margin off the coast of Colombia. The material has been collected at depths of around 500m west of the Magdalena and Sinú deltas, located in the Sinú-San Jacinto fold belt. These bivalves correspond to the families Vesicomyidae (Calyptogena ponderosa, Vesicomya caribbea and Ectenagena modioliforma), Lucinidae (Graecina colombiensis and three unidentified species of Lucinoma), Solemyidae (Acharax caribbaea) and Thyasiridae (Conchocele bisecta). In addition, for the first time off Colombia empty tubes of vestimentiferan polychaetes, belonging to the family Siboglinidae, were collected. At some of these sites the presence of authigenic carbonates has been observed together with the biological material. Although the obligate seep fauna generally contains relatively few and endemic species, a large suite of accompanying heterotrophic species (here we report only the molluscs) has been found at the seep sites. The occurrence of carbonates, the geological characteristics of the area and the new biological evidence confirms the presence of methane seep ecosystems in the Caribbean Sea off Colombia. © 2011 Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.


Sanchez J.A.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Ballesteros D.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Ballesteros D.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras Invemar
Revista de Biologia Tropical | Year: 2014

Carijoa riisei (Octocorallia: Cnidaria), a western Atlantic species, has been reported in the Pacific as an invasive species for nearly forty years. C. riisei has been recently observed overgrowing native octocorals at several rocky-coral littorals in the Colombian Tropical Eastern Pacific-(TEP). C. riisei has inhabited these reefs for at least 15 years but the aggressive overgrowth on other octocorals have been noted until recently. Here, we surveyed for the first time the distribution and inter-specific aggression by C. riisei in both coastal and oceanic areas colonized in the Colombian TEP (Malpelo, Gorgona and Cabo Corrientes), including preliminary multiyear surveys during 2007-2013. We observed community-wide octocoral mortalities (including local extinction of some Muricea spp.) and a steady occurrence of competing and overgrowing Pacifigorgia seafans and Leptogorgia seawhips. In Gorgona Island, at two different sites, over 87% (n=77 tagged colonies) of octocorals (Pacifigorgia spp. and Leptogorgia alba) died as a result of C. riisei interaction and/or overgrowth between 2011 and 2013. C. riisei overgrows octocorals with an estimate at linear growth rate of about 1cm m-1. The aggressive overgrowth of this species in TEP deserves more attention and regular monitoring programs. © 2014, Universidad de Costa Rica. All rights reserved.


Sanchez J.A.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Ardila N.E.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Andrade J.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Duenas L.F.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | And 3 more authors.
Revista de Biologia Tropical | Year: 2014

Owing to the decrease of reef organisms in general, it has become essential to study populations that are prone to marine diseases, with the purpose of developing accurate survivorship predictions and in turn alarm on triggers and drivers of disease outbreaks. In this study, we quantified the octocorals of Gorgona island, Tropical Eastern Pacific (Colombia), during 2007 and 2009 documenting a mass mortality occurred during 2008. We recorded 16 octocoral species with densities that ranged between 2 and 30 colonies m-2f. Most abundant octocorals were Leptogorgia alba and Pacifigorgia spp. (Gorgoniidae: Octocorallia). During 2009 we noticed a mass mortality involving Pacifigorgia irene, P. adamsi, P. rubicunda and P. eximia, with a reduction of 70% of the colonies between 12 and 20 m in water depth. Around 5% of seafans during 2007 had an epizootic disease similar to aspergillosis, which seems the cause of the mass octocoral mortality. This disease outbreak observed in Gorgona island, and other nearby areas of the Colombian Pacific during 2007-2010, corresponded to extended periods of anomalous elevated seawater surface temperatures and thermal anomalies during the upwelling season of 2008. Constant monitoring of seawater temperatures and octocoral populations are urgently needed in this area to understand the nature of this new disease outbreak. © 2014, Universidad de Costa Rica. All rights reserved.


Polanco F. A.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Acero P. A.,National University of Colombia | Betancur-R. R.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2016

Trachinocephalus, a formerly monotypic and nearly circumtropical genus of lizardfishes, is split into three valid species. Trachinocephalus gauguini n. sp. is described from the Marquesas Islands and is distinguished from the two other species in the genus by having a shorter snout, a narrower interorbital space, larger eye and modally fewer anal-fin and pectoral-fin rays. The distribution of Trachinocephalus myops (type species) is restricted to the Atlantic Ocean and the name Trachinocephalus trachinus is resurrected for populations from the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. Principal component analyses and bivariate plots based on the morphometric data differentiated T. gauguini from the other two species, but a substantial overlap between T. myops and T. trachinus exists. Phylogenetic evidence based on mtDNA COI sequences unambiguously supports the recognition of at least three species in Trachinocephalus, revealing deep divergences between the Atlantic Ocean, Indo-West Pacific Ocean and Marquesas entities. Additional analyses of species delimitations using the generalized mixed Yule coalescent model and the Poisson tree processes model provide a more liberal assessment of species in Trachinocephalus, indicating that many more cryptic species may exist. Finally, a taxonomic key to identify the three species recognized here is provided. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles


Ruiz C.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Ruiz C.,Aix - Marseille University | Valderrama K.,National University of Colombia | Zea S.,National University of Colombia | Castellanos L.,National University of Colombia
Marine Biotechnology | Year: 2013

Biotechnological research on marine organisms, such as ex situ or in situ aquaculture and in vitro cell culture, is being conducted to produce bioactive metabolites for biomedical and industrial uses. The Caribbean marine sponge Discodermia dissoluta is the source of (+)-discodermolide, a potent antitumoural polyketide that has reached clinical trials. This sponge usually lives at depths greater than 30 m, but at Santa Marta (Colombia) there is a shallower population, which has made it logistically possible to investigate for the first time, on ways to supply discodermolide. We thus performed in situ, 6-month fragment culture trials to assess the performance of this sponge in terms of growth and additional discodermolide production and studied possible factors that influence the variability of discodermolide concentrations in the wild. Sponge fragments cultured in soft mesh bags suspended from horizontal lines showed high survivorship (93 %), moderate growth (28 % increase in volume) and an overall rise (33 %) in the discodermolide concentration, equivalent to average additional production of 8 μg of compound per millilitre of sponge. The concentration of discodermolide in wild sponges ranged from 8 to 40 μg mL-1. Locality was the only factor related to discodermolide variation in the wild, and there were greater concentrations in peripheral vs. basal portions of the sponge, and in clean vs. fouled individuals. As natural growth and regeneration rates can be higher than culture growth rates, there is room for improving techniques to sustainably produce discodermolide. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Diaz C.M.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Zea S.,National University of Colombia
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2014

Exploration of continental shelves may produce unexpected faunal records. In shelf waters of La Guajira peninsula, Colombia, in the northern tip of South America, southern Caribbean Sea, we found a new species of Rhaphidhistia (Demospongiae, Hadromerida, Trachycladidae) a genus previously thought to be restricted to the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Rhaphidhistia guajiraensis sp. nov. is thickly encrusting, agglutinating bottom debris; it possesses asymmetric oxea as megascleres (465-757 μm by 6.3-17.5 μm) and spiraster-like spinispirae (15-37 μm by 2-5 μm). It is closely similar to the type species of the genus, R. spectabilis Carter, 1879, both standing apart from a third species, R. mirabilis (Dendy, 1924), thus conforming a natural group whose taxonomic placement needs to be reassessed. There are numerous cases of sponge genera with sister species in the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, possibly split since the Tethys Sea breakup; owing to their restricted or deep distribution, they are just starting to be discovered. © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 2013.


Londono L.M.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Johnston R.J.,Clark University
Ecological Economics | Year: 2012

We estimate a meta-analysis of willingness to pay for tropical coral reef recreation and evaluate its potential for international benefit transfer. The goal is improved value surface estimation and benefit transfer reliability. We compare model results to those of Brander, L., P. van Beukering and H. Cesar. 2007. The recreational value of coral reefs: A meta-analysis. Ecological Economics, 63(1), to our knowledge the only prior published meta-analysis of coral reef values. We seek to improve upon this prior model through (1) stricter attendance to methodological guidance in the meta-analysis literature, (2) greater attention to metadata uniformity, and (3) supplementation of primary study metadata with additional information obtained through secondary sources, such as information on reef characteristics from international coral reef databases. The estimated models provide value surface insights unavailable elsewhere and improve benefit transfer reliability. Results also highlight challenges in benefit transfer across heterogeneous sites and provide insight into the relevance of welfare consistency for meta-analysis. While the analysis suggests that substantial improvements in transfer reliability may be achieved through closer adherence to guidance from the meta-analysis literature, resulting transfers may still be subject to considerable errors. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Konnerup D.,University of Western Australia | Betancourt-Portela J.M.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Villamil C.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Parra J.P.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2014

Most studies on emission of the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) have been carried out in temperate areas so there is generally a lack of data from subtropical and tropical climates. A large part of the subtropical and tropical coastal wetlands consists of mangrove ecosystems, which have potential to act as sources of N2O and CH4. We measured N2O and CH4 emissions during 11 months in the brackish lagoon system Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM) on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. The area has been seriously influenced by human disturbance which resulted in approximately 60% mangrove mortality but the ecosystem is now being rehabilitated. In addition to N2O and CH4 emissions at four sampling sites, we also measured temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), redox potential, nitrite (NO2-), nitrate (NO3-), ammonium (NH4+) and organic material in the water and/or the sediment.We found the mangrove sediments of CGSM to be a source of N2O and CH4 but there was large variability of the emissions on both temporal and spatial scale with N2O and CH4 fluxes in the range 35-1180μgm-2h-1 and 0-31570μgm-2h-1, respectively. Correlations between N2O fluxes and the water variables showed that salinity significantly contributed towards decreased emission of N2O (r=-0.38). By contrast, water concentrations of NO3- were correlated with increased emission of N2O (r=0.54). Emission of CH4 was negatively correlated with DO in the water (r=-0.34) and there was a positive correlation between organic matter and CH4 emission (r=0.75). It was found that untreated wastewater discharged into the Magdalena River and in turn, the lagoon system may have resulted in a substantially higher emission of both N2O and CH4 as the wastewater contributes substrate to the processes in the form of N and organic matter. With better treatment of wastewater, it is possible that emission of both gases would be lower, especially at the sites closest to Magdalena River. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Fernandez A.P.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Fernholm B.,Swedish Museum of Natural History
Copeia | Year: 2014

Eptatretus aceroi, new species, is described from one specimen captured on the upper continental slope in Colombian Caribbean waters at 705 m depth. The species can be distinguished from all congeners by having five gill apertures, 3/2 multicuspid teeth in the outer and inner tooth rows, respectively, an extremely slender body with the depth at the vertical through the pharyngocutaneous aperture 2.4% of the total length, and by having a total of 174 slime pores, the highest count in the genus. The species is compared with the other western Atlantic five-gilled species of Eptatretus. Se describe a Eptatretus aceroi a partir de un espécimen capturado en el talud continental superior del Caribe colombiano a 705 m de profundidad. La especie se distingue de todos sus congéneres por poseer cinco aberturas branquiales, un patrón dental de 3/2 dientes multicúspidos en la hilera externa e interna respectivamente, un cuerpo extremadamente delgado, con un profundidad del cuerpo a nivel del ducto faringocutáneo de 2.4% de la talla total, y por tener un conteo total de poros de 174, el mayor conteo en el género. La especie se compara con otras especies de Eptatretus del Atlántico occidental que presentan cinco aberturas branquiales. © 2014 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.


Acevedo M.S.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Puentes C.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Carreno K.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Leon J.G.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | And 6 more authors.
International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation | Year: 2013

Biofouling control involves the application of paints containing toxic substances to the marine ecosystem. One of the most promising alternative technologies to antifouling paints based on heavy metals is the development of coatings whose active ingredients are compounds naturally occurring in marine organisms. This study investigated the antifouling activity of organic extracts from some epibiont-free Colombian Caribbean Sea sponges (Agelas tabulata, Myrmekioderma gyroderma, Oceanapia peltata, Aplysina lacunosa, Neopetrosia sp.) and a sea-cucumber (Holoturia glaberrima). Extracts were incorporated into hard stable gels and into soluble matrix antifouling paints and exposed in the sea (Colombia and Argentina). After 45 and 90 days, significant differences in fouling cover percentages between painted panels and controls were found (p<0.05). It was demonstrated that the greatest antifouling activity was contained in extracts of A.tabulata and Holoturia glaberrima in both study sites. This study successfully identified potential new sources of natural antifouling compounds. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

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