Playa, 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.


Hernandez-Arana H.,Colegio de Mexico | Ruiz-Zarate M.-T.,Colegio de Mexico | Alcolado P.M.,Institute Oceanologia | Caballero-Aragon H.,Acuario Nacional de Cuba | And 2 more authors.
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2016

Knowledge of the current condition of reef communities is essential for the implementation of marine protected areas (MPAs). In 2014, we assessed the conditions of reefs of two MPAs in the Caribbean: Guanahacabibes National Park (Guanahacabibes), Cuba and Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres - Punta Cancun - Punta Nizuc National Park (Cancun), Mexico. Within each of the two MPAs studied, we examined two reefs. We took data from fifteen 10-m long transect lines. Indicators included coral cover, diameter of coral colonies, old and recent coral mortalities and coral diseases. The abundance of coral recruits and the density of Diadema antillarum were assessed in 1 m2 quadrats. The cover of groups of macroalgae was obtained from 25 × 25 cm quadrats. Our data illuminated distinct stages in the loss of reef structure similar to what has been seen by other investigators, particularly the change in the dominance of coral species and the deterioration of the three-dimensional structure of reefs. The Cuevones site (in Cancun), which has been closed to tourism for fifteen years, remains dominated by corals, with a high coral cover (33.36%), but with a species dominance (principally Porites astreoides), different from the lead species observed in the Caribbean a few decades ago. The reefs of Guanahacabibes (Laberinto and Yemaya) subject to a low diving intensity appear to be at an earlier stage of changes than the Cancun reefs. The coral indicators remains similar to previous reports, so perhaps this can be slowed or reversed. Meanwhile, Manchones in Cancun showed the lowest coral cover (11.49%) and the lowest recruit density (0.6 recruits/m2), probably due to the joint action of the natural pressures and to the heavy influx of visitors these reefs receive. © 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Espinosa J.,Institute Oceanologia | Ortea J.,University of Oviedo | Caballer M.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research
Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad | Year: 2011

Three new species of marine molluscs are described. Gibberulapalmasola new species, collected in vegetation associated with rocks surrounded by soft sediments in a coastal lagoon surrounded by mangroves in Guanahacabibes Peninsula, Cuba, and characterized by a black head and typical distribution of black and brown bands and orange spots in the mantle. Gibberula dosmosquises new species, collected in rocky bottoms of a Caribbean island from Venezuela, characterized by a simple staining in the mantle and a pattern of spots on the foot, and Gibberula thetisae new species, from sea grass in the gulf of Batabano, Cuba, with shell having 3 columellar folds, the last very weak, and a sharp outer lip; although, its anatomy is not known, these conchological characters separate it from all other known species in the Antilles. Aditionally, the list of valid species for Cuba and Venezuela is discussed and some considerations about Gibberula ubitaensis Espinosa y Ortea, 2000 species complex are given.


Hidalgo G.,University of Veracruz | Toledo W.,Institute Oceanologia | Granados-Barba A.,University of Veracruz
Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research | Year: 2015

Diversity of macrofaunal groups in soft bottoms of the northern and southwestern Cuban shelf was assessed using taxonomic indices that depend on community structure, are independent of habitat type and sampling effort, and have a monotonic response to environmental disturbances. Taxa heterogeneity was significantly higher in sandy-muddy with vegetation, sandy with vegetation, and sandy with vegetation on hard bottom substrates. Biotopes diversity showed a gradient from smaller to greater particle size and from absence to presence of vegetation. Average taxonomic distinctness expected in these zones of the Cuban marine shelf is 92.5 with 95% confidence limits between 76.7 and 100. Sites with average taxonomic distinctness lower than 92.5 and outside the estimated confident limits can be considered environmentally deteriorated or favoring diversity of some particular groups. Dominant groups in this benthos fraction are crustaceans and polychaetes, which is consistent with studies in other tropical and temperate regions. These results constitute a baseline for environmental assessment and monitoring of macrofauna in Cuban soft bottoms, as a key component for marine ecosystems functioning. © 2015, Escuela de Ciencias del Mar. All rights reserved.


Semidey A.,Institute Oceanologia | Suarez A.M.,University of Habana
Hidrobiologica | Year: 2013

Two new records of seaweeds are added to Cuba: Meristotheca schrammii, Dictyota friabilis and is confirmed Dictyota humifusa. The specimens were collected in the NW coast of Cuba in the Havana province, from 7 to 20 m depth, from March 2011 to February of 2012. The main diagnostic characteristics are provided and their morphological characteristics are compared with similar species.


Senties A.,Metropolitan Autonomous University | Areces A.,Institute Oceanologia | Diaz-Larrea J.,Metropolitan Autonomous University | Fujii M.T.,Institute Botgnica
Botanica Marina | Year: 2010

Laurencia caduciramulosa and L. minuscula (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta) are reported for the first time from the Cuban archipelago based on materials collected from the northwestern coast of Cuba (Havana and Rincón de Guanabo). The specimens of these two species, both characterized by a markedly reduced size, were collected twice, in April 2006 and June 2007, growing epiphytically on Thalassia testudinum. In the present study, the morphological characters of both species are described, and the geographical distribution of L. caduciramulosa is expanded to the Caribbean Sea and to the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. © 2010 by Walter de Gruyter.


Caballer M.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Espinosa J.,Institute Oceanologia | Ortea J.,University of Oviedo | Narciso S.,FUDENA
Revista de Biologia Marina y Oceanografia | Year: 2013

To date, 10 species of the genus Volvarina and one species of the genus Hyalina have been cited in Venezuela, but only 2 of them are certain. In this paper 4 new species of mollusks of the family Marginellidae are described, based on specimens collected from 3 different locations: La Tortuga Island, Morrocoy National Park and Aves Island. Additionally, the records in Venezuela of all the species of both genus and the validity of Caribeginella flormarina, synonymized with Hyalina pallida, are discussed. Illustrations of the living animals for all the species are included, so as new photos of the shell of the Neotype of H. pallida, housed in the Natural History Museum in London. The new species are characterized by: Volvarina morrocoyensis Caballer, Espinosa and Ortea new species; 5 brownish bands in the shell, paired parallel plications, white body with red spots, mantle with black spots grouped in bands. Volvarina monchoi Caballer, Espinosa and Ortea new species; white shell with a brown band, uneven plications, white body without spots. Volvarina avesensis Caballer, Espinosa and Ortea new species; 3 orange bands in the shell, parallel plications, orange body, lacking spots, mantle with dull spots. Hyalina nelsyae new species; 3 dull bands in the shell, posterior plications divergent, anterior plications quasi-parallel, body with reddish spots forming a diamond in the tail, mantle with reddish spots forming 3 bands.


Perez-Santos I.,University of Concepción | Schneider W.,University of Concepción | Fernandez-Vila L.,Institute Oceanologia
Ciencias Marinas | Year: 2015

The Cuban Countercurrent (CCC), along with the Yucatan Current, forms part of the Yucatan Basin circulation system, but it has not been well described and its connection to the system of currents in the Caribbean Sea has not been studied. Based on altimetry data (1993–2009) and the MERCATOR three-dimensional assimilation model (2007–2009), the CCC was observed flowing ~1000 km from the eastern Yucatan Channel to Jamaica and to have a width of ~150 km. Off southern Cuba, the mean velocity was 0.20 m s–1at the surface and 0.05 m s–1at 1000 m depth. The CCC transported ~3.5 Sv when it passed through the Yucatan Channel towards the Caribbean Sea, where ~1.6 Sv was recorded south of Cuba. During its annual cycle, the CCC weakened from December to February (0–250 m) and in the summer its magnitude intensified slightly, reaching 0.35 m s–1in August, due to the increase in water temperature of the Atlantic warm pool. Consequently, the sea level rose in the center of the Yucatan Basin and the pressure gradient increased along the Cuban coast, producing an increase in zonal velocity (0.1 m s–1) and transport (2–3 Sv; r = 0.90). Its connection to the Caribbean current system demonstrated the importance of its study. © 2015, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. All rights reserved.


Kough A.S.,University of Miami | Kough A.S.,Daniel erther Center For Conservation And Research | Claro R.,Institute Oceanologia | Lindeman K.C.,Florida Institute of Technology | Paris C.B.,University of Miami
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2016

Variability in environmental conditions and ocean currents can influence population connectivity and the exchange of larvae among locations. This is especially true for species that spawn in aggregations during a limited temporal window, such as many of the commercially and ecologically valuable species of snapper (Lutjanidae) in Cuba. Biophysical modeling has been used for over a decade to describe the pelagic pathways, sources, and sinks of lutjanid larvae. Here, we build on earlier studies by incorporating more advanced modeling techniques, higher resolution oceanography, and an expanded temporal scope using circulation from 2004 to 2013. Our goal was to revisit the relative linkages of Cuban snapper larvae among regions of the Cuban shelf and neighboring countries by investigating their interannual variability and spatial patterns. Biophysical simulations suggest the majority of larvae produced from snapper spawning aggregations are retained on-island, often within the region where they were spawned, with the exception of an aggregation in northwest Cuba. We used multinomial logistic regression to identify consistency in patterns of simulated biophysical larval transport, and to determine the number of years of simulation required to approximate connectivity. The best fit model correctly identified major connections from each spawning location to greater Caribbean destinations for each species. However, connections at smaller spatial scales were less predictable, and variance increased if fewer years of larval transport were considered. While the magnitude of settlement varies annually, the spatial arrangement of connectivity is relatively consistent such that modeled pathways from spawning aggregations can effectively inform connectivity planning, such as the placement of spawning reserves. © The authors 2016.


PubMed | Institute Oceanologia
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Revista de biologia tropical | Year: 2012

The effect of pollution on coral recruitment has been insufficiently studied. This research deals with coral recruitment in coastal areas and aimed to determine the variations of density and dominant species of corals recruits in sites at different distances from pollution sources. The composition and structure of stony coral (scleractinian and milleporids) recruit associations were characterized in the fringing reef of Western Havana, Cuba. This reef is influenced by urban pollution from the Almendares River and a sewage outlet located at its mouth. Four sites were sampled on the upper fore reef escarpment at 10m deep every three months between July 2007 and May 2008. A 25cm side quadrat was used to determine the density and taxonomic composition of recruits smaller than 3cm in diameter. Sampling units were placed following a random-systematic pattern. The mean density of recruits was determined both at assemble and species level. Bifactoral ANOVA tests were applied to compare mean densities at both sampling sites and dates. Student-Newman-Keuls test was applied to compare pairs of means. Cluster and nMDS analyses were applied to evaluate between site similarities. The predominant species was Siderastrea siderea followed by S. radians and Porites astreoides. Recruit densities were similar among La Puntilla, Calle 16 and Acuario sites. Lower densities were always found in Malec6n. Significant differences in mean stony recruit densities were found both between sites and sampling dates. The statistic analysis did not show significant spatial-temporal interactions. Malec6n, the most polluted site, showed the lowest recruit density and the greater presence of species considered as indicators of organic pollution, sedimentation and abrasion. The density of recruit species was higher in October 2007 and lower in May 2008, and it was apparently influenced by reproduction and cold front seasons, respectively. The higher dominance and abundance of S. siderea, S. radians and P. astreoides recruits were apparently due to their high reproductive potential and resistance to disturbances. The identity of dominant species was apparently related to distance from major pollution sources. We highly recommended the replication of this research in other areas of the greater Caribbean region to test the generality of present results and to compare among areas. Future research should take into account the influence of other environmental factors, along with an appraisal of recruit species tolerance to these factors, to better ponder the effect of urban pollution on recruitment. Areas with well assessed pollution regimes are recommended for research.

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