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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2011, Article ID 193759, 13 pages
Research Article

Benthic Macrofauna Associated with Submerged Bottoms of a Tectonic Estuary in Tropical Eastern Pacific

1Ecology of Estuaries and Mangroves Research Group “Ecomanglares”, Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Universidad del Valle, Calle 13, No. 100-00, 25360 Cali, Colombia
2Programa Biodiversidad y Ecosistemas Marinos, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras “Jose Benito Vives de Andréis”, Recta Cali-Palmira 17km, 6713 C36 Cali, Colombia

Received 15 May 2011; Accepted 24 July 2011

Academic Editor: Andrew McMinn

Copyright © 2011 Carlos E. Guevara-Fletcher et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The composition and distribution of the main associations of submerged macrobenthos of Bahía Málaga (Colombian pacific coast), were studied in relation to the distribution of hard and soft substrates and some abiotic factors. Eight localities were sampled during six months: three in the external border of the estuary and five in the inner part. In total, 728 organisms were registered, belonging to 207 species, 132 genera, 86 families, and 14 orders of six invertebrate groups (Porifera, Cnidaria, Polychaeta, Mollusca, Crustacea, and Echinodermata). The submerged bottoms presented soft and hard substrates, with rocks and thick sand in five sites, soft bottoms with fine sand in one, and soft bottoms with slime and clay in two. The temperature and salinity values were higher in the external localities, while dissolved oxygen and pH were higher in the internal localities. The localities with hard substrates presented the highest richness of species while the soft substrates, were characterized by a paucity of species and individuals. The similarity classification analyses showed two groups: one characterized by having 61 species in common and high richness with 113 exclusive species. The other group with low diversity and richness values, 37 species in common and 23 exclusive species.