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Open AccessArticle

Diversity of Seagrass-Associated Decapod Crustaceans in a Tropical Reef Lagoon Prior to Large Environmental Changes: A Baseline Study

Unidad Académica de Sistemas Arrecifales, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, Puerto Morelos, 77580 Quintana Roo, Mexico
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Diversity 2020, 12(5), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050205
Received: 7 April 2020 / Revised: 8 May 2020 / Accepted: 19 May 2020 / Published: 23 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity in Seagrass Ecosystems)
The community composition of decapods associated with subtidal tropical seagrass meadows was analyzed in a pristine reef lagoon on the Mexican Caribbean coast in the summer of 1995 and winter of 1998. The macrophyte community was dominated by Thalassia testudinum followed by Syringodium filiforme, with interspersed rhyzophytic macroalgae and large patches of drift algae. In each season, 10 one-min trawls were made with an epibenthic sled (mesh aperture 1 mm) during the day and 10 during the night on each of five sites. In all, 53,211 decapods belonging to 119 species were collected. The most diverse taxa were Brachyura and Caridea, but the most abundant were Caridea and Anomura. Dominance was high, with three species (Latreutes fucorum, Cuapetes americanus, and Thor manningi) accounting for almost 50% of individuals, and 10 species accounting for nearly 90% of individuals. There was great similarity in community composition and ecological indices between seasons, but significantly more individuals and species in night versus day samples. In the 20+ years elapsed since the samples were taken, the reef lagoon has undergone substantial environmental changes due to extensive coastal development and, more recently, the decay of massive beachings of floating Sargassum macroalgae. This study constitutes a valuable baseline for future studies investigating the potential impact of these stressors on tropical seagrass-associated communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: crustaceans; invertebrates; shrimps; crabs; hermit crabs; tropical seagrass ecosystems crustaceans; invertebrates; shrimps; crabs; hermit crabs; tropical seagrass ecosystems
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MDPI and ACS Style

Briones-Fourzán, P.; Monroy-Velázquez, L.V.; Estrada-Olivo, J.; Lozano-Álvarez, E. Diversity of Seagrass-Associated Decapod Crustaceans in a Tropical Reef Lagoon Prior to Large Environmental Changes: A Baseline Study. Diversity 2020, 12, 205.

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