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Revista de Biología Tropical

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


VARGAS, José A  and  DEAN, Harlan K. On Branchiostoma californiense (Cephalochordata) from the Gulf of Nicoya estuary, Costa Rica. Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2010, vol.58, n.4, pp.1143-1148. ISSN 0034-7744.

The cephalochordates are represented by the lancelets, of which species of the genus Branchiostoma are the best known. In recent years, these organisms have been the center of activity of studies focusing on the phylogenetic relationships of the chordates. In 1980, a survey of the benthos at 48 stations in the Gulf of Nicoya estuary, Pacific coast of Costa Rica, yielded 265 specimens of the lancelet Branchiostoma californiense. A total of 48 specimens was also collected at an intertidal flat in the mid upper estuary. Of the 48 subtidal stations, only eight had B. californiense, and these sites all had a sand fraction above 72%. The remaining stations ranged in their sand content from as low as 1% to as high as 92%, with an average of 25.9%, with 29 stations having a sand content lower than 72%. Lower salinities and muddy sediments may limit the distribution of the lancelet further upstream. This information is useful when changes over decades in the ecology of the estuary need to be evaluated against the background of local, regional, and global dynamics. Rev. Biol. Trop. 58 (4): 1143-1148. Epub 2010 December 01.

Keywords : amphioxus; lancelets; Branchiostoma; B. californiense; estuary; Gulf of Nicoya; Costa Rica.

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