Gorgonian octocoral community at Varadero coral reef in the Colombian Caribbean: diversity and spatial distribution
Varadero reef has unique ecological characteristics and faces the risk of disappearing because of the dredging for an access channel of large vessels to the Cartagena port in Colombia. In this ecosystem, the sessile benthic community, such as gorgonian octocorals and associated fauna, will be impacted. We examined the diversity and spatial distribution of gorgonians from seven sites located in the mixed coral reef zone. These organisms are generally found in depths between 6 and 10 m in the area. The richness of the gorgonians
species is lower than that recorded in other areas of the Caribbean. The low values of abundance and richness species are due to the characteristics of reef setoff and sedimentation processes existing in Cartagena bay.
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