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Identification and Assessment of Scleractinians at Tarou Point, Dominica, West Indies

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Tarou Point, located on the west coast of Dominica in the West Indies, is a volcanic outcrop covered with coral assemblages. Four different sections within Tarou Point were surveyed for scleractinian species richness and frequency distribution analyses. Twenty-two species of scleractinians were identified, among which Porites astreoides, Agaracia agaricites, Siderastrea siderea, and Meandrina meandrites represented the highest average abundance over all sections observed. The deep portion of section B showed the highest species diversity, while sections North D and the deep portion of section A represented the lowest. Frequency distribution trends among species depend on factors including substrate type and availability, light, depth, wave energy, and sedimentation. Tarou Point has historical, cultural, socioeconomical, and environmental significance. It is used both for artesanal fishing and as a growing recreational diving destination. Increased use of this area is leading to intense pressures on the marine environment. Tarou Point serves as one example of the prominent trend occurring throughout Dominica, in which coastal migration and the rise of tourism are placing increased pressures on coastal and marine resources. It is hoped that these data will serve as a baseline for future monitoring of Tarou Point's coral assemblages and benthic environment, as well as facilitate management and monitoring enforcement of coastal and marine resources throughout the island.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute for Tropical Marine Ecology Inc., Roseau, Commonwealth of Dominica

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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