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Ciencias marinas

Print version ISSN 0185-3880


MENDEZ DE E, E et al. Fish community of a fringing reef at Mochima National Park, Venezuela. Cienc. mar [online]. 2006, vol.32, n.4, pp.683-693. ISSN 0185-3880.

The fish community associated with a fringing reef was studied at Cautaro, Mochima National Park, Venezuela. A systematic sampling design based on visual censuses was carried out from December 2000 to May 2002. A total of 86 species belonging to 31 families were identified, dominated by Scaridae (10), Haemulidae and Labridae (9), Pomacentridae (7) and Serranidae (6), which accumulated, together with the sole species of Sparidae, 77.52% of the total abundance. Diplodus argenteus (13.15%), Microspathodon chrysurus (13.00%) and Thalassoma bifasciatum (10.79%) were the most abundant and frequent (>50%) species, and can therefore be considered typical and characteristic of the study area. The total diversity was 4.54 bits ind-1 and oscillated between 3.33 and 4.25 bits ind-1, with an average of 3.86. Equitability varied between 0.74 and 0.89. The relationship between species abundance and rank was significant (r = 0.976) and the diversity index of the log-series based on the number of species was a = 14.19. The trophic analysis of the community indicated that the carnivorous species constituted the dominant group (63.10%), followed by the herbivores (21.40%) and omnivores (15.50%). The normal distribution fitted the species abundance data, indicating a tendency towards stabilization in relation to the number of species.

Keywords : fringing reefs; fish community structure; Mochima National Park.

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