RESEARCH ARTICLE


Food-Web Structure and Functioning of Coastal Marine Ecosystems: Alvarado Lagoon and Adjacent Continental Shelf, Northern Gulf of Mexico



Víctor H. Cruz-Escalona1, *, María V. Morales-Zárate2, Jonathan Franco- López3, Leonardo A. Abitia-Cárdenas1, Armando Hernández-López1, Emigdio Marín-Enríquez4, Adrián F. González-Acosta1
1 Departamento de Pesquerías y Biología Marina, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional s/n, Col. Playa Palo de Sta. Rita Sur, Postal Box 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, ZP 23000, México
2 Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional No. 195. Col. Playa Palo de Sta. Rita Sur, Postal Box 128, La Paz, Baja California Sur, ZP 23096, México
3 Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Laboratorio de Ecología. Avenida de Los Barrios No. 1, Los Reyes Iztacala, Tlalnepantla, Estado de México, ZP 54090, México
4 CONACYT-Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa. Paseo Claussen s/n, Mazatlán, Sinaloa, ZP 82000, México


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© 2018 Cruz-Escalona et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departamento de Pesquerías y Biología Marina, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional s/n, Col. Playa Palo de Sta. Rita Sur, Postal Box 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, ZP 23000, México; Tel: +52161225344; E-mails: vescalon@ipn.mx, vicreshu@gmail.com


Abstract

Introduction:

The aim of the present study was to develop a trophic model characterizing simultaneously the structure and function of the two coastal marine ecosystems: Alvarado Lagoon, Mexico and adjacent continental shelf, important area for penaeid shrimps and demersal fish species.

Method:

The model was based on the assumption of biomass balance and describes the trophic relationships, flows of energy, and transfer efficiency of the food web, and includes 66 functional groups.

Results:

Results shows that 33% of the aggregate biological community biomass comes mainly second and third trophic levels. Size of aggregate flows as well as the transfer effectiveness among groups, results like those saw in other similar works. Connectance index (CI) was 0.12, meaning that there is only 12% only of the total theoretical connections exist. Results also shows that primary producers and detritus (lagoon and shelf) contribute with 60.1% of the total ascendency. Our work can be the basis for future research, which allow us to contrast alternate hypotheses about the functioning of the system.

Keywords: Coastal ecosystems, Energy fluxes, Biomass balance model, Northern gulf, Alvarado lagoon, Continental shelf.