Taxonomic distinctness of soft-bottoms mollusks from Gulf of Batabanó, Cuba

Norberto Capetillo-Piñar, Marcial Trinidad Villalejo-Fuerte, Arturo Tripp-Quezada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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© 2015, Escuela de Ciencias del Mar. All rights reserved. Taxonomic distinction is a measure of diversity that has a number of advantages that provides relevant connotation to theoretical and applied ecology. The usefulness of this type of measure as an alternative method for assessing the biodiversity of soft-bottom benthic marine ecosystems was tested using the indices of average taxonomic distinctness (Delta+) and variation in taxonomic distinctness (Lambda+) for mollusk communities of the Gulf of Batabanó (Cuba). For this purpose, inventories of soft bottom benthic mollusk species obtained in the period 1981-1985 and the years 2004/2007 were used. Both species lists were analyzed and compared at spatial and temporal scales. The taxonomic composition, between the period 1981-1985 and years 2004 and 2007, consisted of 3 classes, 20 orders, 60 families, 137 genera and 182 species observed. With the exception of the class level, a non-significant decrease of this composition in 2004 and 2007 was detected. At a spatial scale, a significant decrease in the taxonomic richness was observed in 2004. Significant differences were not detected in Delta+ and Lambda+ to time scale, but at spatial scale, results revealed significant differences that could be attributed to the combined effect of increased anthropogenic activities in the region with hurricane induced effects. These results suggest that the pair of indices, Delta+ and Lambda+, are good descriptors of the biodiversity of soft-bottom benthic mollusk communities in the Gulf of Batabanó.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)856-872
Number of pages768
JournalLatin American Journal of Aquatic Research
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


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