Echinoderms from the Gulf of Venezuela, north-western coast of Venezuela

Espinoza-rodriguez, Ninive, Pernia, Yumara, Severeyn, Hector, Garcia de Severeyn, Yajaira, and Barrios-Garrido, Hector (2021) Echinoderms from the Gulf of Venezuela, north-western coast of Venezuela. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 61. e20216151.

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Abstract

Echinoderms are a major group of marine invertebrates that often play integral roles within the marine ecosystem. Studies about their occurrence, abundance, and distribution in Venezuela are focused in the central-eastern coasts; hence the aim of this study is to describe the echinoderm community in the north-western coast of the Gulf of Venezuela. Samples were collected from three sites in the Venezuelan Guajira Peninsula (Castilletes, Porshoure, and Kazuzain) where patchy coral reefs and seagrass meadows are abundant. According to the substrate, two methods were performed using quantitative (1 m² quadrates), and qualitative free-diving observations. All organisms were counted and identified to the lowest possible taxonomic level; finally, diversity (Shannon diversity index), richness (number of species), and dominance in the different sampled substrates were recorded. The updated list of echinoderms of the Gulf of Venezuela reported in this research, includes 20 genera, 15 families, 10 orders, four classes, and 28 species. The richest class was Ophiuroidea, with 18 species, followed by Asteroidea, Echinoidea and Holothuroidea, with three species each. Castilletes was the sampling site with the higher number of species (18 species), followed by Porshoure (15 species), and lastly Kazuzain (12 species). Our observations indicate that the number of species and abundance were higher when found in coral reefs (21 species, 80.69% of the total collected individuals) in contrast to the species found in seagrass beds (16 species, 19.31% of the total of individuals collected). This updated list of echinoderms represents 11.54% of the total diversity of the phylum in the marine areas from the coast of Venezuela; it is suggested that this percentage is greatly influenced by the differences of habitats and substrates alongside the north-western coast in the Gulf of Venezuela.

Item ID: 68230
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1807-0205
Keywords: Marine invertebrates, Venezuelan Guajira Peninsula, Coral reefs, Seagrass beds
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2021 Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2021 23:20
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180501 Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems @ 30%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 70%
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