Abundance and distribution patterns of infaunal associates and macroborers of the branched coral (Pocillopora damicornis) in Gorgona Island (eastern tropical Pacific)
Abstract:This study examines the abundance and distribution patterns of infaunal associates and macroboring species of the coral Pocillopora damicornis L. in a fringing reef at Gorgona Island, located 35 km off the Colombian Pacific coast. Most important infaunal associates and macroboring species were found to be distributed over the whole reef, showing no significant differences on their relative abundances between zones. Bivalves are the most important group over the whole reef, being particularly abundant on the reef flat-crest and on the reef front. The shallowness of the reef and the high amount of sediments in the water, explain the relative paucity of other macroborer species such as sponges and worms. Although most boring species inhabit the dead base of colonies, no differences were found in composition, species richness, abundance and diversity between living and dead colonies. This work shows that, unlike other regions of the world, the presence and abundance of infaunal species in branched coral species at Gorgona Island is mainly related to the coral cover, and not with the reef zones, depth and dead or living state of corals.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2003
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