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Free Content The crustacean decapod communities of three coral reefs from the southwestern Caribbean Sea of Cuba: Species composition, abundance and structure of the communities

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The decapod communities of three coral reefs of the southwestern Caribbean Sea of Cuba (keys Juan García, Cantiles and Diego Pérez), at three different ecological levels (the reef lagoon, the reef flat and the outward slope) have been analyzed. A total of 2567 specimens belonging to 216 species were caught. The lagoons have the highest richness. The lower richness found in the reef flat may be explained because it is the more disturbed area (higher hydrodynamic conditions) and there is a decrease in the diversity of substrates. The dominance, density, and biomass of the species vary in each ecological zone and key. These also depend on the sampling methodology, in relation with the adaptation and use of the resources by the species. The geometrical distributions show that there are many species with few specimens. The qualitative ordination and similarity analysis show that the more separated key could be differentiated from the other two, and that there is a closer relationship by ecological zones between the latter. All results point out the existence of a spatial gradient and a marked specificity in the use of the environmental resources (i.e., shelters) by the species in the ecological zones of the studied keys.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-09-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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