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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


REYES BONILLA, Héctor; PEREZ VIVAR, Tito Livio  and  KETCHUM MEJIA, James T. Distribución geográfica y depredación de Porites lobata (Anthozoa: Scleractinia) en la costa occidental de México. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 1999, vol.47, n.1-2, pp.273-279. ISSN 0034-7744.

The hermatypic coral Porites lobata Dana, 1846 is one of the most important species in Central American reef communities, recorded in México only in 1992, at the Revillagigedo Archipelago.  This paper describes the geographic distribution and predation pressure on P. lobata  in the west coast of México, based on field observations and literature data.  The species is distributed in México on a coastal section of about 200 km, from Nayarit (20° N) to Colima (19° N), and in the Revillagigedo Islands (18° N); P. lobata does not occur in the Gulf of California (23° to 30° N), or at coral communities placed from 17° N to 15° N.  Its disjunct distribution can be explained considering the Revillagigedos as larval emiter to the mainland, using the Northequatorial Countercurrent as dispersal mechanism.  Comparing coral communities where P. lobata is found, it was more abundant in the Revillagifedos than at the mainland.  However, predator damage seems to be greater in Nayarit-Jalisco-Colima than in the oceanic islands, possibly because corallivore fishes were less abundant in the latter.  Population density of coral bioeroders (sponges,  polychaetes, spinculans and bivalves) in P. lobata eas similar and sometimes higher at the Revillagigedos than in coastal sites, suggesting the possibility of a primary productivity diffeerential among those locations.

Keywords : Porites lobata; Pacific; México; coral biogeography; ecology.

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