Biodiversity and density of subtidal benthos of an oceanic tropical island (a comparison within the Pacific Ocean)
Sibaja Cordero, Jeffrey Alejandro
Cortés Núñez, Jorge
Vargas Zamora, José A.
Benavides Varela, Catalina
MetadataShow full item record
The marine macrofauna of the shallow sandy bottom of Isla del Coco, Costa Rica (5°32′N-87°04′W) was assessed in April 2010. Comparisons of richness, density and diversity between levels of exposure to ocean influence were carried out. During this study 15,407 specimens with a mean density of 1826 ind m− 2 were found between 3–75 m depth. The specimens were distributed in 267 taxa (29% new additions) with a mean of 55 ± 14 expected taxa m− 2. The values of density, richness and diversity were higher at the exposed coast, whereas they decreased at inner bays due to the influence of freshwater input. These estimates were compared with 40 studies in the Tropical Pacific Ocean (TPO). Taxa and density previously reported from the TPO were dependent on the area and depth range studied. Additionally, these parameters varied according to the sampling gear used. For example, higher densities were reported by using corers or boxcorers. The Shannon-Wiener index was most effective in identifying sediment and geographical patterns of variation along the TPO. Differences in these diversity parameters were also found between islands and mainland studies. Moreover, richness and density values from Isla del Coco were higher than the same parameters reported in studies using grabs in the TPO. At Isla del Coco annelids were dominant in terms of relative abundance (49.6%), followed by crustaceans (10.1%), mollusks (2.8%), and others faunal groups (37.5%). The faunistic composition at Isla del Coco differed when compared to the rest of localities of TPO due to the higher contribution of miscellaneous groups. In conclusion, the comparison with previous studies in the TPO indicate that islands like Isla del Coco have high numbers of taxa and diversity than those of the mainland, but lower density. However, this value is influenced by the sampling methodology. The taxa accumulation curve at Isla del Coco did not reach the asymptote, suggesting that an intensive sampling, especially at deep waters, would increase the number of taxa.
- Meteorología