Home > GCR > Vol. 21 > Iss. 1 (2009)
Macrofauna Associate with Ungrounded Prop Roots of Rhizophora mangle in Veracruz and Quintana Roo, Mexico
The prop roots of the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) provide a solid substrate for diverse assemblages of marine organisms in areas typically characterized by soft bottoms (Bingham 1992, Farnsworth and Ellison 1996). Macrobenthic communities of mangroves have received little attention compared with other components of the ecosystem, largely due to sampling difficulties (Lee 2008). Mangrove root epifauna are likely used by predatory fish, especially juveniles. Thus, these organisms have the potential of being important links between mangroves and adjacent ecosystems. The fauna associated with red mangrove prop roots along Mexican Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and Caribbean shorelines has not been well described. The infauna of red mangrove associated sediments has been studied in GOM sites in the Río Carrizal Estuary, Tamaulipas, Mexico (Rabalais et al. 1989), Laguna de Términos, Veracruz, Mexico (Hernández-Alcántara and V. Solís-Weiss 1995) and Rookery Bay, Florida (Sheridan 1997). Red mangrove root epifauna in the GOM has been described only in Laguna de Tamiahua (Fajardo M. 1990). Although red mangrove root faunas have been described in some areas of the Caribbean, such as Puerto Rico (Mattox 1949, Kolehmainen and Wildner 1975) and Bahia de Buche, Venezuela (Sutherland 1980), in the northwestern Caribbean the mangrove root epifauna has only been described in Belize (Ellison and Farnsworth 1992, Farnsworth and Ellison 1996). The objective of this study was to describe macrofaunal community composition of ungrounded red mangrove prop roots in the southwestern GOM and the northwestern Caribbean, on the Yucatan Peninsula. The communities we describe are compared to others in Mexico, Central America and the wider Caribbean to address factors that may explain similarities and differences.
Tunnell, K. D. and K. Withers.
Macrofauna Associate with Ungrounded Prop Roots of Rhizophora mangle in Veracruz and Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Gulf and Caribbean Research
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