Abstract

Richness and distribution of Echinoderms in rocky reefs at Punta Amapala and Los Cobanos, El Salvador. In El Salvador, taxonomic and distribution studies of echinoderms are scarce, and most of them are from Los Cóbanos. This research aims to explore the richness and abundance of echinoderms associated with shallow rocky reefs of El Salvador, as well as their relationship between distribution and abiotic variables. Sampling was carried out in Los Cóbanos and Punta Amapala, on the Pacific coast of El Salvador; between February and April 2016, with three-hour workdays during low tide. The sampling techniques used were wandering dive and three transects of 30m in length. The relationship between species and abiotic variables (temperature, salinity, coast distance and roughness) was identified with canonical correspondence analysis. We report seven species in five orders. The temperature and coast distance are strongly related to the distribution of organisms. Holothuria (Halodeima) kerfersteini and Echinometra vanbrunti are related to high temperature and greater distance from the coast; however, Ophiocoma aethiops, O. alexandri and Ophiothrix rudis are conditioned by low temperature and shorter coast distance. Rev. Biol. Trop. 65(Suppl. 1): S92-S100. Epub 2017 November 01.

Keywords: El Salvador, rocky reef, echinoderms, spatial distribution.