Changes in Mangrove Epifaunal Assemblages Caused by Forest Logging during Hunting of the Neotropical Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) on the Colombian Pacific Coast


Although the importance of mangroves is clearly recognized around the world, these ecosystems are being strongly altered by the logging of their forests for multiple purposes. The Colombian Pacific coast is not an exception to this situation, and apart from the traditional logging of wood, the hunting of the Neotropical Cormorant or Pato-cuervo (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), an activity largely unknown but widespread in the region, is also causing the logging of great extensions of mangroves. The aim of this research was to determine if the assemblages of mollusks and crustaceans of these mangroves are being affected by the hunting of the cormorant. To answer this question, quantitative samplings were realized in four transects in logged and unlogged mangrove areas on the southwestern coast of the Colombian Pacific and diversity, equitability and dominance of macrofaunal assemblages of mangroves were calculated. The data show that although significant differences between diversity indices were not found, there were important differences in equitability (total J’: 0.55 in T1, 0.77 in T2, 0.46 in T3 and 0.65 in T4), specific dominance, and composition of species (T1: 11 species, T2: 13, T3: 9 and T4: 11) between logged and unlogged areas. Based on these results, although forest structure and interstitial salinity were different among transects, we conclude that the present practice of exploitation of the Neotropical Cormorant is affecting the epifaunal populations of mangroves, causing changes in the composition and dominance of species.

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C. R., J. Kintz and P. Sierra-Correa, "Changes in Mangrove Epifaunal Assemblages Caused by Forest Logging during Hunting of the Neotropical Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) on the Colombian Pacific Coast," Open Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 150-156. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2012.24018.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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