Distribution and structure of the southernmost Caribbean coral reefs: Golfo de Uraba, Colombia

Díaz, Juan M., Díaz-Pulido, Guillermo and Sánchez, Juan A. (2000) Distribution and structure of the southernmost Caribbean coral reefs: Golfo de Uraba, Colombia. Scientia Marina, 64 3: 327-336. doi:10.3989/scimar.2000.64n3327


Author Díaz, Juan M.
Díaz-Pulido, Guillermo
Sánchez, Juan A.
Title Distribution and structure of the southernmost Caribbean coral reefs: Golfo de Uraba, Colombia
Formatted title
Distribution and structure of the southernmost Caribbean coral reefs: Golfo de Urabá, Colombia
Journal name Scientia Marina   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0214-8358
1886-8134
Publication date 2000
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3989/scimar.2000.64n3327
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 64
Issue 3
Start page 327
End page 336
Total pages 10
Place of publication Madrid, Spain
Publisher Departamento de Publicaciones, Institut de Ciències del Mar de Barcelona (CSIC)
Language eng
Subject 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology)
Formatted abstract
The Gulf of Urabá represents the southernmost portion of the Caribbean Sea. Due to the large amounts of sediment and freshwater discharged by the Atrato river and several minor streams, water conditions in the area are far from being optimal for coral settlement and growth. However, fringing and patch reefs are developed along the rocky shores of the northwest margin of the Gulf. Based on field observations performed at 44 sites (12 of them assessed quantitatively), interpretation of air photography of the area and depth profiles, the distribution, structure and zonation of the reefs are described. Classification analysis of the 12 sample sites yielded four coral assemblages: Diploria strigosa, crustose algae, Siderastrea siderea, Agaricia spp., and mixed massive corals. Other two assemblages, dominated respectively by Millepora complanata and thickets of Acropora palmata were noticed during reconnaissance dives. The distribution of these zones within the reef seems likely to be mainly controlled by wave exposure, bottom topography, sedimentation, and light penetration. Reef development, coral diversity and live coral cover increase along the coast in a SE-NW direction, with an evident maximum near to the cove of Sapzurro, suggesting an overall improvement of conditions for coral growth and settlement in that direction. A total of 33 species of hard corals were recorded during the survey. It is apparent that the live coral cover, particularly of foliose and branching species, has notably declined recently.
Keyword Coral reefs
Coral assemblages
Scleractinia
Colombia
Caribbean Sea
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Centre for Marine Studies Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 13 Jul 2010, 13:09:59 EST by Laura McTaggart on behalf of Faculty of Science