Mangroves in the tropical eastern Pacific (TEP) constitute a dominant coastal ecosystem that harbours diverse and economically important fish assemblages. We describe here regional scale patterns in the composition of this poorly documented mangrove ichthyofauna. A review of available studies (including own data) from five countries covering the entire region was performed. Species abundance distribution curves were constructed and compared among studies. Relative abundance data of fish species and families were analysed with classification and ordination techniques. Common species and families responsible for differences among localities were identified. Overall, 315 fish species associated to mangroves of the TEP were identified. Fifteen fish families accounted for 80 % or more of the relative abundance of all studies. Despite the use of different sampling techniques, common features arose for most of the mangrove fish assemblages. Clupeidae were numerically dominant throughout the region, while Gerreidae were particularly dominant in the northern mangroves. The catch mass contributions of families from studies where these data were available indicated a dominance of Ariidae, Centropomidae, Lutjanidae and Tetraodontidae. A relatively uniform composition at the family (and sometimes species) level supports recent claims to merge the Panamic with the Mexican province in the TEP according to the distribution of the shore fish fauna. Similarities found with other estuarine-mangrove ichthyofaunas in the Neotropics may be related to the connectedness of these regions in past geological times. Quantitative assessments of mangrove fish communities in four areas of the TEP would improve further zoogeographic analyses and facilitate the development of conservation strategies.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 18, 2012
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