The Distribution of Coral, Reefs and Coastal Habitats in North Central Cuba

Coral communities have begun to form under small inlet-style bridges along the causeway connecting Cayo Coco to Cayo Guillermo. To understand how these bridge-reefs formed and characterize their attributes relative to surrounding communities, a combination of ecological observations and 13C isotopes...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Brady, Aisling
Other Authors: Cowling, Sharon A.
Format: Others
Language:en_ca
Published: 2008
Subjects:
Online Access:http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17155
Description
Summary:Coral communities have begun to form under small inlet-style bridges along the causeway connecting Cayo Coco to Cayo Guillermo. To understand how these bridge-reefs formed and characterize their attributes relative to surrounding communities, a combination of ecological observations and 13C isotopes were analyzed from the bridges and surrounding reefs, mangrove channels and seagrass patches. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis, Detrended Correspondence Analysis and Canonical Correspondence Analysis were carried out to group which physical attributes contributed to the coral communities in the bridge-reefs and also which habitats they were most similar to, with respect to coral and benthic composition. Bridge reef coral assemblages resembled shallow patch reefs and mangrove channels, while benthic coverage was similar to mangrove channels. Organic matter was from combined seagrass and mangrove sources, with mangrove dominating in some regions more than others. This work demonstrates that habitats within the seascape are inter-related through varying mechanisms and development is multi-dimensional.