Investigation - research

Investigation Papers List

#

Reference

100

Ventura Díaz, Y., Rodríguez Cueto, Y. (2012) Hábitats del golfo de Ana María identificados mediante el empleo de procesamiento digital de imágenes. Rev. Invest. Mar. 32(2), 1‐8.

Two expeditions to Ana Maria gulf were carried out on October 2011 and April 2012. The main goal of this expedition was obtain a characterization of natural conditions of the area. Several sites were established as base of this work and one of the most important variables obtained in this expedition was characteristics of sea bottom. Earth Resources Data Analysis System software was use to obtain images classification and ArcGIS software was used to analyze results of this classification and obtain final maps. The most important outcome of this work is present a map describing marine habitats characteristics of a zone of Ana Maria gulf as well as sea bottom characteristics on each place studied as part of this expedition. A total of 65 sites were sampled to determine the characteristics of sea bottom and then classify the area based on these site´s characteristics. As a result of this research 78% of the area was classified and four types of sea bottom were identified. It is suggested to visit more sites to identify habitat in order to obtain a classification of unclassified area of Ana Maria gulf

Phrases: Most reefs within JR lie within a marine protected area and they are some of the most protected and preserved reefs in the Caribbean.” JR reefs include a variety of habitats and hydrodynamic regimes (i.e., tidal currents and wave exposure), contributing to microbiological differences between these reefs.”

101

Marichal Arbona, E., López Hernández, D. (2012) Reptiles terrestres de los cayos de la región central del golfo de Ana María, Cuba. Rev. Invest. Mar. 32(2), 73‐77.

Reptiles are important indicators of ecosystem health, mainly for archipelagos. The central region of Ana Maria gulf includes small area keys, mostly covered by mangrove, of which there are no previous reports about reptiles. In a study conducted in october 2011 and march 2012 eight keys of region, were studied. A total of eight species of the order Squamata were found. The most abundant species were Anolis sagrei with 64.5 ind. h-1 and Cyclura nubila with 21 ind. h-1. The keys with greater species richness were Algodón Grande and Santa María de Afuera, each with six species, and those more abundance were Bergantines (26 ind. h-1), Algodón Grande (16 ind. h-1) and Santa María de Afuera (14.5 ind. h-1).

Phrases: Most reefs within JR lie within a marine protected area and they are some of the most protected and preserved reefs in the Caribbean.” JR reefs include a variety of habitats and hydrodynamic regimes (i.e., tidal currents and wave exposure), contributing to microbiological differences between these reefs.”

102

López Rojas, M. (2012) Fauna de insectos en cayos del golfo de Ana María, Cuba. Rev. Invest. Mar. 32(2), 66‐72.

This paper provides a list of species of insects present in the keys Algodón Grande, Cargado, Cuervo, Palomo and Santa Maria in Ana Maria gulf , obtained during October 2011 and September 2012. Vegetation jamming with entomological net was the sampling method used. A total of 85 species were listed, of which 38 are new locality records. The family Formicidae had greater diversity and abundance. Camponotus planatus and Camponotus sp. species had the greatest dominance. Ecological indexes and the similarity between the keys were determined taking into account the composition of species. Santa María key was the richest and showed the highest abundance and diversity.

Phrases: Most reefs within JR lie within a marine protected area and they are some of the most protected and preserved reefs in the Caribbean.” JR reefs include a variety of habitats and hydrodynamic regimes (i.e., tidal currents and wave exposure), contributing to microbiological differences between these reefs.”

103

González‐De Zayas, R., Lestayo González, J.A., Merino‐Ibarra, M., Castillo Sandoval, F.S. (2012) Condiciones hidroquímicas recientes de la zona central del golfo de Ana María, Cuba. Rev. Invest. Mar. 32(2), 9‐14.

Ana Maria gulf is one of Cuban zones with great importance on fisheries and with a tourism promissory future. The objective of this study was to evaluate hydrochemically the central part of Ana Maria gulf. Some water parameters (temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and nutrients) were determined at 38 sites during wet season of 2011. Available elementary ratios DIN/RSP and RSSi/DIN and trophic state were determined using a Eutrophic Index. Temperature was characteristic of the climatic season, salinity was homogenous in the whole study area (between 36,0 and 37,3), dissolved oxygen was great than 6,0 mg/L and nutrients had similar levels that previous studies at same part and zone (DIN of 6,9±5,4 µM, SRP of 0,4±0,2 µM and SRSi of 4,3±1,6 µM). The greatest nutrient levels were between Santa Maria key and Cuervo key; where regenerative nutrient process at interior lagoons and rain could be supply these nutrients to waters of Ana Maria gulf. The elementary ratios were 18/1 for DIN/RSP and 1 for RSSi/DIN. The limiting nutrient was RSP. The calculated Eutrophic Index was 2,9±0,5 using DIN and 0,9±0,1 using RSP. The hydrochemical conditions of study zone were similar to coastal zones with water exchange with Caribbean Sea and with limited land base contributions (principally during dry season).

Phrases: Most reefs within JR lie within a marine protected area and they are some of the most protected and preserved reefs in the Caribbean.” JR reefs include a variety of habitats and hydrodynamic regimes (i.e., tidal currents and wave exposure), contributing to microbiological differences between these reefs.”

104

Castellanos-Gell, J., Robainas-Barcia, A., Casane, D., Chevalier-Monteagudo, P., Pina-Amargós, F. and García-Machado, E. 2012. The surgeonfish, Acanthurus bahianus, has crossed the Amazon-Orinoco outflow barrier. Marine Biology 159:1561-1565.

Dispersal varies among species according to different biological and environmental factors. It is known that there is strong genetic division between the Ocean Surgeonfish (Acanthurus tractus) and the Barber Surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus) in the Caribbean and southern Atlantic biogeographic provinces with relation to the Amazon–Orinoco outflows. We analyzed cytb gene sequence diversity from 149 individuals collected at five localities around Cuba between October 2006 and February 2010. As expected, most individuals had haplotypes identical or closely related to those previously reported for the Caribbean. However, south Atlantic lineage haplotypes were also found in all surveyed localities with frequencies around 5 %. This finding suggests that A. bahianus has dispersed in recent times across the Amazon–Orinoco barrier, probably because environmental perturbations have aided dispersal.

Comments:

Samples were taken from Breton Key, Jardines de la Reina Archipelago.

105

Moncada Gavián F., Gonzalo Nodarse Andreu, Julia Azanza Ricardo, Yosvani Medina Cruz y Yanet Forneiro Martín-Viaña. 2011. Principales áreas de anidación de las tortugas marinas en el archipiélago cubano. Revista electrónica de la Agencia de Medio Ambiente. Año 11, No.20.

Main sea turtles nesting areas in the Cuban archipelago as well as basic information on mean number of nests and/or ranges, estimated annually for each species, in the main keys or beaches of each area are presented. The information was obtained from monitoring and/or systematic surveys carried out for more than 10 years by Fisheries Research Center, Marine Research Center and National Enterprise for the Conservation of the Flora and the Fauna; which allowed to know the species nesting status in those areas. This knowledge is essential for the conservation and research on of these marine reptiles in Cuba

Comments:

Jardines de la Reina hosts 5 % of green turtle nests in Cuba (up to 150 nests, see Fig. 2), 4 % of loggerhead turtle nests (up to 20 nests, see Fig. 3) and 69 % of hawksbill turtle (up to 250 nests, see Fig. 4).

106

Moncada Gavián F., Julia Azanza Ricardo, Gonzalo Nodarse Andreu, Yosvani Medina Cruz y Yanet Forneiro Martín-Viaña. 2011. Las tortugas marinas y el cambio climático en Cuba. Revista electrónica de la Agencia de Medio Ambiente. Año 11, No.20.

Some evidence of the effects of climate change affecting marine turtle populations and their main habitats (mainly on nesting beaches) in the Cuban archipelago are presented. The paper emphasizes mainly on meteorological events occurred in recent years and its impact on nesting beaches, as well as the potential consequences of rising temperatures.

Phrases:

“Además se observaron pérdidas de playa como en Cayo Anclitas al parecer debido a la erosión y afectación a la vegetación por paso de huracanes como en Cayo Alcatraz, ambos sitios en…Jardines de la Reina).”

“…destrucción de huevos, nidos y neonatos observado también en los Archipiélagos de los Canarreos y Jardines de la Reina durante el paso del huracán Paloma en el 2008…”

107

Hernández-Fernández, L., Guimarais-Bermejo, M., Arias-Barreto, R. and Clero-Alonso, L. 2011. Composición de las comunidades de octocorales y corales pétreos y la incidencia del blanqueamiento del 2005 en Jardines de la Reina, Cuba. Rev. Mar. Cost 3:77-90.

Octocoral and stony coral communities in the Jardines de la Reina archipelago (Cuba) were studied in 2001 and again in 2005. The incidence of the 2005 bleaching event in the Caribbean was analyzed in the stony coral community. Twelve sampling stations were established: seven in the shallow forereef and five in reef crests, with one square meter quadrants to estimate density. A total of 62 species (26 octocorals and 36 stony corals) were identified in the shallow forereef, including Pseudopterogorgia americana (2.4 colonies/m2), Eunicea exuosa (1.1 colonies/m2), Siderastrea siderea (5.0 colonies/m2) and Agaricia agaricites (4.0 colonies/m2). In the reef crest, 31 species were identifed (13 octocorals and 18 stony corals), with Briareum asbestinum (1.3 colonies/m2), Porites astreoides (2.5 colonies/m2) and Millepora complanata (1.0 colonies/m2) being the most abundant. The most sensitive species to bleaching were: A. agaricites, Millepora spp. and Montastraea annularis. In general, this event showed a poor incidence with stony corals. Constant monitoring is necessary to adjust the management plan to the changes that may occur in the structure of the benthic communities.

108

Martín Blanco, F., L. Clero Alonso, G. González Sansón y F. Pina Amargós. 2011. Influence of Diadema antillarum populations (Echinodermata: Diadematidae) on algal community structure in Jardines de la Reina, Cuba”. Revista de Biología Tropical / International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation (ISSN-0034-7744). Volumen 59 (3): 1149-1163

The 1983-1984 mass mortality of Diadema antillarum produced severe damages on Caribbean reefs contributing to substantial changes in community structure that still persist. Despite the importance of Diadema grazing in structuring coral reefs, available information on current abundances and algal-urchin interactions in Cuba is scarce. We analyzed spatial variations in Diadema abundance and its influence on algal community structure in 22 reef sites in Jardines de la Reina, in June/2004 and April/2005. Urchins were counted in five 30x2m transects per site, and algal coverage was estimated in randomly located 0.25m side quadrats (15 per site). Abundances of Diadema were higher at reef crests (0.013-1.553 ind/m2), while reef slope populations showed values up to three orders of magnitude lower and were overgrown by macroalgae (up to 87%, local values). Algal community structure at reef slopes were dominated by macroalgae, especially Dictyota, Lobophora and Halimeda while the most abundant macroalgae at reef crests were Halimeda and Amphiroa. Urchin densities were negatively and positively correlated with mean coverage of macroalgae and crustose coralline algae, respectively, when analyzing data pooled across all sites, but not with data from separate habitats (specially reef crest), suggesting, along with historical fish biomass, that shallow reef community structure is being shaped by the synergistic action of other factors (e.g. fish grazing) rather than the influence of Diadema alone. However, we observed clear signs of Diadema grazing at reef crests and decreased macroalgal cover according to 2001 data, what suggest that grazing intensity at this habitat increased at the same time that Diadema recruitment began to be noticeable. Furthermore, the excessive abundance of macroalgae at reef slopes and the scarcity of crustose coralline algae seems to be due by the almost complete absence of D. antillarum at mid depth reefs, where local densities of this urchin were predominantly low.

Phrases:

The authors are thankful to the staff of
Azulmar for logistical support on Jardines de la
Reina, specially to Giuseppe Omegna (Pepe) its
manager and Noel López.”

109

Eakin CM, Morgan JA, Heron SF, Smith TB, Liu G, et al. (2010) Caribbean Corals in Crisis: Record Thermal Stress, Bleaching, and Mortality in 2005. PLoSONE 5(11): e13969. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013969

The rising temperature of the world’s oceans has become a major threat to coral reefs globally as the severity and frequency of mass coral bleaching and mortality events increase. In 2005, high ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean resulted in the most severe bleaching event ever recorded in the basin. Satellite-based tools provided warnings for coral reef managers and scientists, guiding both the timing and location of researchers’ field observations as anomalously warm conditions developed and spread across the greater Caribbean region from June to October 2005. Field surveys of bleaching and mortality exceeded prior efforts in detail and extent, and provided a new standard for documenting the effects of bleaching and for testing nowcast and forecast products. Collaborators from 22 countries undertook the most comprehensive documentation of basin-scale bleaching to date and found that over 80% of corals bleached and over 40% died at many sites. The most severe bleaching coincided with waters nearest a western Atlantic warm pool that was centered off the northern end of the Lesser Antilles. Thermal stress during the 2005 event exceeded any observed from the Caribbean in the prior 20 years, and regionally-averaged temperatures were the warmest in over 150 years. Comparison of satellite data against field surveys demonstrated a significant predictive relationship between accumulated heat stress (measured using NOAA Coral Reef Watch’s Degree Heating Weeks) and bleaching intensity. This severe, widespread bleaching and mortality will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for reef ecosystems and suggests a troubled future for tropical marine ecosystems under a warming climate.

Comments:

In 2005 Jardines de la Reina suffered medium thermal stress (4-7 DHW ⁰C-weeks (maximun Degree Heating Weeks) of a maximum of 16) when in Cuba was low (1-3) (see Figure 1a) however bleaching was milder in southern Cuba (where Jardines de la Reina is located) than in northern (see Figure 1b).

110

Acevedo, C.J., López, D. and Parada, A. 2010. Se localiza Copernicia macroglosa (Arecaceae) en Cayo Caguama, archipiélago Jardines de la Reina, Camagüey, Cuba. Bissea 4(3).

First report of Guanabacoa palm (Copernicia macroglosa (Arecaceae)) in Jardines de la Reina.

111

Figueredo Martín, T., F. Pina Amargós, J. Angulo Valdés y R. Gómez Fernández. 2010. Pesca recreativa en Jardines de la Reina, Cuba: caracterización y percepción sobre el estado de conservación del área”. Revista de Investigaciones Marinas. 31 (2): 141-148.

Recreational fishery is very popular around the world, being catch and release increasingly preferred. Few studies have been carried out concerning recreational fisheries in Cuba, and not one of them focus on the socio-economic characteristics of the activity. The aim of this research is (1) to socioeconomically characterize recreational fisheries in Jardines de la Reina and (2) to evaluate visitor’s perception concerning natural resources conservation. 93 recreational fishermen from 13 countries were interviewed, mainly from United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina and United States of America. The sample was dominated by males, 41 to 50 years old, married and with university degrees. 37 % had visited Jardines de la Reina before, 4 times average. These repeaters currently consider the area in better environmental conditions than in previous visits. Recreational fishery is ranked good or excellent by interviewees and 100 % of them would recommend Jardines de la Reina as a fishing destination. The main attraction is the abundance of target species (first, tarpon (Megalops atlanticus); second, bonefish (Albula vulpes) and third, permits (Trachinotus sp.). It could be concluded that Jardines de la Reina are in a good environmental conservation status. Recreational fishery is compatible with the conservation status of protected area and is ranked as excellent and with international recognition by visitors. Jardines de la Reina exceed the expectation from recreational fishermen when visit the area.

Comments:

“Los autores agradecen a los trabajadores de Sucursal Marlin Jardines de la Reina–Avalon por el apoyo logístico, especialmente a G. Omegna (Pepe)…”

112

Figueredo Martín, T., F. Pina Amargós, J. Angulo Valdés y R. Gómez Fernández. 2010. Buceo contemplativo en Jardines de la Reina: caracterización y percepción sobre el estado de conservación en el área. Revista de Investigaciones Marinas. Vol. 31(1): 23-32.

Research related to SCUBA diving, primarily about its impact on coral reef, has increased in the last years. However, few studies are devoted to SCUBA diving socioeconomic features. Thus, this study aims to characterise SCUBA diving in Jardines de la Reina, where the largest marine reserve of Cuba and the Caribbean is located. 78 divers from 16 countries, mainly from Check Republic, Italy and Spain were interviewed. Sample was dominated by males, 41 to 50 years old, married, with family and with university degrees. About 17 % had visited Jardines de la Reina before, 2 times average. These repeaters currently consider the area in better environmental conditions than in previous visits. SCUBA diving is ranked very good or excellent and 99 % would recommend Jardines de la Reina as a diving destination. The main attraction for divers is the abundance of fishes, specially the abundance of sharks and the presence of whale shark (Rhincodon typus). Jardines de la Reina is regarded as one of the best SCUBA diving sites in the world when compared with 50 sites of the world. The majority interviewees are willing to return. All these facts endorse the excellence of Jardines de la Reina as SCUBA diving destination.

Comments:

“Los autores agradecen a los trabajadores de Sucursal Marlin Jardines de la Reina–Avalon por el apoyo logístico, especialmente a G. Omegna (Pepe) y Noel López Fernández…”

114

Pina Amargós, F., Gaspar González Sansón, Andrés Jiménez del Castillo, Abdel Zayas Fernández, Félix Martín Blanco and Wilbert Acosta de la Red. 2010. An experiment of fish spillover from a marine reserve in Cuba. Environmental Biology of Fishes. Vol. 87(4): 363-372.

Several studies on adult fish movement from marine protected areas to zones open to fishing activity conclude spillover is present, but most of these investigations use indirect evidence and small-sized species of little commercial importance. This paper reports the effects of manipulating a density gradient on movements of large-sized and commerciallyimportant fish across “Jardines de la Reina” Marine Reserve boundaries, using tagging methods and visual census. Tagging was carried out using dart tags and modified spearguns at an experimental and a control site. Density of fish was experimentally manipulated on the unprotected side of the boundary. Before experimental manipulation, fish density was similar in both experimental and control sites and on both sides of the boundaries. After manipulation, fish density in the unprotected side of experimental site declined dramatically and a strong gradient was established through the boundary. One month later, this forced gradient disappeared, returning to the situation at the beginning of the study. This last result is due to spillover effect: the mean distance traveled by fish increased 1.5 times (mean from below 200 m to more than 300 m), the mean emigration rate doubled and the immigration rate decreased, allowing density levels to recover after manipulation.

Comments:

The authors are thankful to the staff of
Azulmar for logistical support on Jardines de la Reina,
especially to Giuseppe Omegna (Pepe)…”

113

Martín Blanco, F., G. González Sansón, F. Pina Amargós, L. Clero Alonso. 2010. Abundance, distribution and size structure of Diadema antillarum (Echinodermata: Diademantidae) in South Eastern Cuban coral reefs. International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation. Vol.58(2): 663-675.

The 1983-1984 mass mortality event of Diadema antillarum affected more than 93% of the total Caribbean population. Although there are no records about the status of Diadema populations before and after die-off on Cuban reefs, anecdotal information suggests that population were struck. We analalized spatial variation in the abundance and size structure of D. antillarum in 22 reefs sites in Jardines de la Reina, from June 2005 to September 2005. Counts of Diadema were performed in five 30x2m transects at each sampling site and sampling time, and test diameters were measured in September 2005 at the same fore reefs. Abundance were higher at reef crests (man densities 0.08-2.18 ind./m2), while reef slope population reach a maximum site level of 0.13 ind./m2 at only one site and showed values up to three orders of magnitude lower than those from reef crests. Highest abundance occurred at the west margin of major channels between keys where larval recruitment seems to be favored by local oceanographic features and facilitated by the abundance of Echinometra lucunter. The size frequency distribution of D. antillarum indicates that recruitment began to be noticeable three years before September 2005, suggesting these populations were depleted in the past and they are recovering now.

Comments:

The authors are thankful to the staff of
Azulmar for logistical support on Jardines de la
Reina, specially to Giuseppe Omegna (Pepe) its
manager and Noel López.”