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      Fish community structure dynamics in cenotes of the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka'an, Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico Translated title: La estructura de la comunidad de peces en cenotes de la Reserva de la Biosfera de Sian Ka'an, península de Yucatán, México

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          Abstract

          Cenotes are permanent aquatic systems formed by geomorphologic processes (karst), located in the Yucatan Peninsula. Many of these oligotrophic systems are connected superficially to wetlands during the wet season. We describe the fish community structure in 4 cenotes during the rainy and dry seasons over a 4-year period and relate it to limnetic dynamics in each cenote. We sampled cenotes to describe morphology, water physicochemical characteristics, primary production, and invertebrates and fish abundance and richness. We did not find differences in physicochemical variables between seasons but we did find differences among years and among cenotes. We found 11 fish species (25% of the total richness reported for the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka'an) from 5 families: Cichlidae, Poeciliidae, Characidae, Pimelodidae and Synbranchidae. We noted little seasonal or inter-annual variation of fish species richness. But there were higher differences of fish species richness and abundances among cenotes. Fish community structure was correlated with temperature, transparency, pH, dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll a, periphyton and zooplankton abundance. Results showed that physicochemical variables and fish community structure are not affected by seasonal hydrology dynamics, suggesting that cenotes are stable aquatic systems compared to the surrounding wetlands. Other limnetic factors such as cenote morphology are also related to fish community structure.

          Translated abstract

          Los cenotes son sistemas acuáticos formados por procesos geomorfológicos cársticos en la península de Yucatán. Muchos de estos sistemas oligotróficos se conectan con los humedales a nivel superficial en la temporada de lluvia. Describimos la estructura de la comunidad de peces en 4 cenotes durante las temporadas de lluvias y secas en un periodo de 4 años y lo relacionamos con su dinámica. Describimos la morfología, características fisicoquímicas, producción primaria, abundancia y riqueza de invertebrados y peces. No encontramos diferencias en las variables fisicoquímicas entre temporadas, pero sí entre años y cenotes. Encontramos 11 especies de peces (25% de la riqueza total registrada para la Reserva de la Biosfera de Sian Ka'an) de 5 familias: Cichlidae, Poeciliidae, Characidae, Pimelodidae and Synbranchidae. No existe ninguna variación interanual o temporal en la riqueza de especies, pero hubo diferencias mayores en su abundancia y su riqueza entre cenotes. La estructura de la comunidad de peces está correlacionada con temperatura, transparencia, pH, oxígeno disuelto, clorofila a, abundancia de perifíton y zooplancton. Los resultados indican que las variables fisicoquímicas no afectan la estructura de la comunidad de peces en cada cenote, ni tampoco están relacionados con la dinámica hidrológica de las temporadas, comparados con los humedales. Esto sugiere que son sistemas acuáticos más estables. La morfología del cenote también está altamente relacionada con la estructura de la comunidad de peces.

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          Most cited references 63

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          Morphometric criteria for estimating sexual maturity in two snappers, Etelis carbunculus and Pristipomoides sieboldii

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            Biostatistical analysis

             JH Zar,  J.H ZAR,  J. H. ZAR (1999)
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              The light: nutrient ratio in lakes: the balance of energy and materials affects ecosystem structure and process.

              The amounts of solar energy and materials are two of the chief factors determining ecosystem structure and process. Here, we examine the relative balance of light and phosphorus in a set of freshwater pelagic ecosystems. We calculated a ratio of light: phosphorus by putting mixed-layer mean light in the numerator and total P concentration in the denominator. This light: phosphorus ratio was a good predictor of the C:P ratio of particulate matter (seston), with a positive correlation demonstrated between these two ratios. We argue that the balance between light and nutrients controls "nutrient use efficiency" at the base of the food web in lakes. Thus, when light energy is high relative to nutrient availability, the base of the food web is carbon rich and phosphorus poor. In the opposite case, where light is relatively less available compared to nutrients, the base of the food web is relatively P rich. The significance of this relationship lies in the fact that the composition of sestonic material is known to influence a large number of ecosystem processes such as secondary production, nutrient cycling, and (we hypothesize) the relative strength of microbial versus grazing processes. Using the central result of increased C:P ratio with an increased light: phosphorus ratio, we make specific predictions of how ecosystem structure and process should vary with light and nutrient balance. Among these predictions, we suggest that lake ecosystems with low light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously carbon or energy limited, while ecosystems with high light: phosphorus ratios should have several trophic levels simultaneously limited by phosphorus. Our results provide an alternative perspective to the question of what determines nutrient use efficiency in ecosystems.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                rmbiodiv
                Revista mexicana de biodiversidad
                Rev. Mex. Biodiv.
                Instituto de Biología (México )
                2007-8706
                September 2013
                : 84
                : 3
                : 901-911
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Mexico
                Article
                S1870-34532013000300018
                10.7550/rmb.33019
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                Biodiversity Conservation

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