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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. Source

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. Source

Van Tussenbroek B.I.,University of the Sea | Cortes J.,University of Costa Rica | Collin R.,Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | Fonseca A.C.,University of Costa Rica | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The CARICOMP monitoring network gathered standardized data from 52 seagrass sampling stations at 22 sites (mostly Thalassia testudinum-dominated beds in reef systems) across the Wider Caribbean twice a year over the period 1993 to 2007 (and in some cases up to 2012). Wide variations in community total biomass (285 to >2000 g dry m-2) and annual foliar productivity of the dominant seagrass T. testudinum (<200 and >2000 g dry m-2) were found among sites. Solar-cycle related intra-annual variations in T. testudinum leaf productivity were detected at latitudes. > 16°N. Hurricanes had little to no long-term effects on these well-developed seagrass communities, except for 1 station, where the vegetation was lost by burial below ∼1 m sand. At two sites (5 stations), the seagrass beds collapsed due to excessive grazing by turtles or seaurchins (the latter in combination with human impact and storms). The low-cost methods of this regional-scale monitoring program were sufficient to detect long-term shifts in the communities, and fifteen (43%) out of 35 long-term monitoring stations (at 17 sites) showed trends in seagrass communities consistent with expected changes under environmental deterioration. Source

Gracia A.,Institute Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR | Rangel-Buitrago N.,University of Cadiz | Sellanes J.,Catolica del Norte University | Sellanes J.,University of Concepcion
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. Source

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. Source

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