The Vertical Distribution of Mangrove Gastropods and Environmental Factors Relative to Tide Level at Buenaventura Bay, Pacific Coast of Colombia
Abstract:The vertical distribution of five species of mangrove gastropods (Littoraria zebra, Littorinopsis scabra aberrans, L. fasciata, L. varia and Thais kiosquiformis) was studied in four sites at Buenaventura Bay on the Pacific coast of Colombia. The sites had different environmental conditions in terms of flooding, water salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH. Vegetation structure was also different among them. Three samplings were carried out between September and December 1994. The five gastropods were distributed in different vertical intertidal zones. The vertical level of L. zebra and L. fasciata oscillated according to lunar-tidal cycles. Factors such as dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH of water flooding the mangrove were related to differences in the intertidal distribution of gastropods among sites. Vegetation structure of mangroves was directly related to water temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH. L. zebra and L. fasciata were closer to the mangrove floor in those forests with poor development or structure (e.g., disturbed by tree-cutting or within early stages of succession). In contrast, the distribution of T. kiosquiformis seemed to be more influenced by the number and height of decaying logs than by tide height. The distribution of L. varia did not show a consistent pattern relating to variations in high tide levels.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 1999
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