Artículo original

Estrategias de crecimiento de un abundante coral formador de arrecifes en el Caribe sur (

Silvia Marcela Cáceres, Juan Armando Sánchez Muñoz

Resumen


La estructura de las comunidades coralinas del mar Caribe está cambiando, sobre todo en cuanto a especies dominantes. Particularmente la mortandad de Acropora , en muchos arrecifes del sur y oeste del Caribe, ha permitido que el coral escleractínio Undaria tenuifoliaDana se convierta en una de las especies dominantes en los arrecifes someros. En este estudio, se le hizo seguimiento a colonias de U.  tenuifolia , durante un año mediante el uso de imágenes digitales. Se desarrolló un modelo de clases de tamaño que permite estimar la fluctuación poblacional y determinar la estrategia de crecimiento. El modelo de clases de tamaño calcula las tasas de crecimiento de las colonias así como los procesos clonales. La clase de tamaño de la colonia afecta la estrategia de crecimiento de esta, donde colonias medianas pueden duplicar su tamaño en un año mientras las colonias más grandes generalmente se dividen. Las estrategias clonales, e.g., fisión y fusión, observadas durante el período de estudio, le permiten a U. tenuifoliasobreponerse a las bajas tasas de sobrevivencia del asentamiento post-larval, además de convertirla en una especie de coral dominante. La matriz del modelo de tamaños formulado a partir del crecimiento relativo de la colonia ofrece un enfoque práctico para observaciones a corto plazo, generando a su vez un modelo de transición “invariante en el tiempo”. Los patrones de mortalidad no se correlacionaron con clases de tamaño y fueron variables según el lugar y el tiempo. La abundancia total de la población se mantuvo estable durante el período de seguimiento. La  alta sobrevivencia de esta especie luego de fragmentación clonal, así como su alta tasa de crecimiento, sugieren que se trata de un coral con potencial de ser cultivado, lo que surge como una solución frente a la extracción y comercialización de esta especie como suvenir en Cartagena, Colombia. © Acad. Colomb. Cienc. Ex. Fis. Nat.  2015.

Palabras clave


Agaricia; Undaria tenuifolia; clonal; estructura comunitaria; crecimiento colonial; mar Caribe; arrecifes coralinos; extracción coralina

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18257/raccefyn.195

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