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Acta botánica mexicana

versão On-line ISSN 2448-7589versão impressa ISSN 0187-7151


CARRANZA RAMIREZ, Anahi; CALVA BENITEZ, Laura Georgina  e  NUNEZ RESENDIZ, María Luisa. Taxonomic composition and substrate affinity of conspicuous marine macroalgae of the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Act. Bot. Mex [online]. 2023, n.130, e2249.  Epub 02-Abr-2024. ISSN 2448-7589.

Background and Aims:

The reefs of the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel constitute one of the main reef formations in Mexico. However, up to date phycofloristic studies that allow detecting changes in the phycofloristic composition or its affinity for some substrates are practically non-existent. Our aim was to determine the taxonomic composition of marine macroalgae present in the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel, as well as realize their morphological descriptions and an analysis of their affinity with the substrate they colonize.


The sampling was carried out in October and November 2018 by autonomous diving in 14 reefs of the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel. Morphological observations were made using optical and stereoscopic microscopes. The taxonomic determination was made using specialized literature.

Key results:

Fourty-two taxa were determined: five Ochrophyta, 12 Rhodophyta and 25 Chlorophyta. The best-represented family for Ochrophyta was Dictyotaceae; for Rhodophyta, Ceramiaceae and Rhodomelaceae; and for Chlorophyta, Halimedaceae. New records for the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel are described, including Lobophora guadeloupensis as a new record for Mexico. Additionally, four different substrates for the algae were identified: psammophytic (33%), epilithic (32%), epizoic (19%) and epiphytic (16%). The most diverse reefs were La Francesa (LF) and Santa Rosa (SR), whereas the least diverse were Chankanaab (CK) and Tormentos (TM).


Although many of the previous records in the area were confirmed in the present study, the presence of 18 new records revealed, on the one hand, the lack of constant monitoring of the algal richness of the region, and on the other hand, the need for morphological descriptions or photographic references that allow contrasting the previous records with the current ones. Given the importance of the Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel, our results, in addition to offering updated information, represent a starting point for studies in conservation biology.

Palavras-chave : algae; Chlorophyta; diversity; Ochrophyta; Rhodophyta.

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