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Unraveling the structure and composition of Varadero Reef, a coral reef in the Colombian Caribbean.

Posted by BFP Staff on Jun 5, 2018 at 11:15 AM

Biodiversity, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Ecosystem Science, Enviroment.

ARTICLE PUBLISHED ORIGINALLY IN Peerj
Valeria Pizarro​, Sara C. Rodríguez, Mateo López-Victoria, Fernando A. Zapata, Sven Zea, Claudia T. Galindo-Martínez, Roberto Iglesias-Prieto, Joseph Pollock, Mónica Medina.
-Ecomares NGO, Cali, Valle, Colombia
-Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Pontifica Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Valle, Colombia
-Department of Biology, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Valle, Colombia
-Centro de Estudios en Ciencias del Mar—CECIMAR, Universidad Nacional de Colombia—Sede Caribe, Santa Marta, Magdalena, Colombia
-Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, United States of America.

Coral reefs provide important ecosystem services (Moberg & Folke, 1999), but many currently face unprecedented pressure from multiple natural and anthropogenic stressors (Wilkinson, 2008). Caribbean reefs have been particularly impacted, with coral cover decreasing from an average of 50% to 10% in just four decades (Jackson et al., 2014). Coral cover loss has resulted in a phase shift from coral to macroalgal domination with a concurrent increase in sponge abundance (e.g., Rose & Risk, 1985; Szmant, 2002; Ward-Paige et al., 2005; Chavez-Fonnegra, Zea & Gomez, 2007; Malaio, Turingan & Lin, 2008; Jackson et al., 2014).
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