Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

Changes in fish community due to the effect of coastal development in Huatulco National Park (Mexico)

Supplementary Files

Carta a RBT (Español (España))


ecological impact
environmental deterioration
coastal development
community structure
impacto ecológico
deterioro ambiental
desarrollo costero
estructura de la comunidad

How to Cite

Juárez-Hernández, L. G., & Tapia-García, M. (2018). Changes in fish community due to the effect of coastal development in Huatulco National Park (Mexico). Revista De Biología Tropical, 66(4), 1569–1579.


Coastal development and urbanization have increased the sediments that are washed from the land surface, producing adverse effects on the structure and functioning of coral reefs. The objective of this study was to identify the degree to which excessive sediments have disturbed the fish community in the coral reefs in the Maguey and Violin bays, located in the Huatulco National Park (Mexico). Fish samples were collected before and after disturbances produced by sediments associated with coastal development projects. Indicators of changes in the fish communities included the number and diversity of species as well as equity and dominance before and after the disturbances. The analysis was performed through means comparison tests, similarity analysis (ANOSIM) and similarity percentage analysis (SIMPER). In both locations, it was observed that the diversity, evenness, abundance and number of species were higher prior to the disturbance, but not for dominance, which shows an inverse pattern. In Maguey, significant differences in evenness and dominance were observed (U = 28, p = 0.0401; U = 24, p = 0.0472), as well as in species composition and abundance (ANOSIM = 0.35, p = 0.009). The similarity percentage analysis (SIMPER) indicated that after the disturbance, more than 46 % of the species showed decreases in average abundance, highlighting the absence of Prionurus laticlavius, as well as the decrease in abundance of: P. punctatus, Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus, Microspathodon dorsalis, Lutjanus novemfaciatus and Stegates acapulcoensis. Inadequate planning and implementation of coastal development projects that contribute to the discharge of excessive sediments into the sea were determinants of negative changes in the coral communities in Maguey and Violin, whose effects could be seen in the composition of the species and the abundance, equity, and dominance of the fish community in Maguey.


Allen, G. R., & Robertson, D. R. (1998). Peces del Pacífico Oriental Tropical. México: CONABIO, agrupación Sierra Madre y CEMEX.

Amezcua-Linares, F. (2009). Peces demersales del Pacífico de México. México: Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Booth, D. J., & Beretta, G. A. (2002). Changes in a fish assemblage after a coral bleaching event. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 245, 205-212.

Brodie, J. E., Kroon, F. J., Schaffelke, B., Wolanski, E. C., Lewis, S. E., Devlin, M. J., ... & Davis, A. M. (2012). Terrestrial pollutant runoff to the Great Barrier Reef: an update of issues, priorities and management responses. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 65(4), 81-100.

Bruno, J. F., & Selig, E. R. (2007). Regional decline of coral cover in the Indo-Pacific: timing, extent, and subregional comparisons. PLOS ONE, 2(8), e711. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000711

Burke, L., Reytar, K., Spalding, M., & Perry, A. (2011). Reefs at Risk revisited. Washington D.C.: World Res Institute.

Castañeda, J. (2009). Clausuró la Profepa dos obras de Fonatur en Huatulco. Notihuatulco Recuperado de

Cesar, H., Burke, L., & Pet-Soede, L. (2003). The economics of worldwide coral reef degradation. Netherlands, Arnhem: Cesar Environmental Economics Consulting (CEEC).

Clarke, K. R. (1993). Non-parametric multivariate analysis of changes in community structure. Australian Journal of Ecology, 18, 117-143.

Clarke, K. R., & Gorley, R. (2006). PRIMER V5: User Manual/ Tutorial. Plymouth, UK.: PRIMER-E. Recuperado de

Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP). (2003). Programa de manejo Parque Nacional Huatulco. México, D. F.: Dirección General de Manejo para la Conservación, Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas.

Comeros-Raynal, M. T., Choat, J. H., Polidoro, B. A., Clements, K. D., Abesamis, R., Craig, M.T., … Nañola Jr., C. L. (2012). The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant herbivores and detritivores of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLOS ONE 7(7), e39825. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039825

Diaz-Pulido, G., & McCook, L. J. (2004). Effects of live coral, epilithic algal communities and substrate type on algal recruitment. Coral Reefs, 23(2), 225-233.

Dominici-Arosemena, A., & Wolff, M. (2006). Reef fish community structure in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (Panamá): living on a relatively stable rocky reef environment. Helgoland Marine Research, 60(4), 287-305.

Enochs, I. C., & Hockensmith, G. (2008, Julio). Effects of coral mortality on the community composition of cryptic metazoans associated with Pocillopora damicornis. En A. Kerr, G. Paulay, & M. Picho (Chairs), Biodiversity and Diversification of Reef Organisms.11th International Coral Reef Symposium Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Erftemeijer, P. L., Hagedorn, M., Laterveer, M., Craggs, J., & Guest, J. R. (2012a). Effect of suspended sediment on fertilization success in the scleractinian coral Pectinia lactuca. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 92(04), 741-745.

Erftemeijer, P. L., Rieglc, B., Hoeksemad, B. W., & Todde, P. A. (2012b). Environmental impacts of dredging and other sediment disturbances on corals: a review. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 64, 1737-1765.

Fiedler, P. C. (1992). Seasonal climatologies and variability of Eastern Tropical Pacific Surface waters. NOAA Technical reports NMFS, 109, 1-65.

Garpe, K. C., Yahya, S. A., Lindahl, U., & Öhman, M. C. (2006). Long-term effects of the 1998 coral bleaching event on reef fish assemblages. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 315, 237-247.

Glynn, P. W. (2006, Junio). Fish utilization of simulated coral reef frameworks versus eroded rubble substrates off Panama, eastern Pacific. Sesión de presentaciones orales Changing coral communities: What are the consequences for coral reef fishes? 10th International Coral Reef Symposium Conference, Okinawa, Japón.

Glynn, P. W., & Leyte Morales, G. E. (1997). Coral reefs of Huatulco, West México. Revista de Biología Tropical, 45(3), 1033-1047.

González‐Cabello, A., & Bellwood, D. R. (2009). Local ecological impacts of regional biodiversity on reef fish assemblages. Journal of Biogeography, 36(6), 1129-1137.

Graham, N. A., Wilson, S. K., Jennings, S., Polunin, N. V., Bijoux, J. P., & Robinson, J. (2006). Dynamic fragility of oceanic coral reef ecosystems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(22), 8425-8429.

Graham, N. A., Jennings, S., MacNeil, M., Mouillot, D., & Wilson, S. (2015). Predicting climate-driven regime shifts versus rebound potential in coral reefs. Nature, 518, 94-97.

Granja-Fernández, M. R., & López-Pérez, R. A. (2008). Sedimentación en comunidades arrecifales de Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca, México. Revista de Biología Tropical, 56(3), 1179-1187.

Halford, A., Cheal, A. J., Ryan, D., & Williams, D. M. (2004). Resilience to large-scale disturbance in coral and fish assemblages on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Ecology, 85(7), 1892-1905.

Halpern, B. S., Selkoe, K. A., White, C., Albert, S., Aswani, S., & Lauer, M. (2013). Marine protected areas and resilience to sedimentation in the Solomon Islands. Coral Reefs, 32(1), 61-69.

Hoegh-Guldberg, O. (1999). Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world's coral reefs. Marine and Freshwater Research, 50(8), 839-866.

Holbrook, S. J., Brooks, A. J., & Schmitt, R. J. (2006, Junio). Relationships between live coral cover and reef fishes: implications for predicting effects of environmental disturbances. Sesión de presentaciones orales. Changing coral communities: What are the consequences for coral reef fishes? 10th International Coral Reef Symposium Conference, Okinawa, Japón.

Hubmann, B., Piller, W. E., & Riegl, B. (2002). Functional morphology of coral shape and passive hydrodynamic self-righting in recent Manicina areolata. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, 82(1), 125-130.

Hughes, T. P., Baird, A. H., Bellwood, D. R., Card, M., Connolly, S. R., Folke, C., ... Lough, J. M. (2003). Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs. Science, 301(5635), 929-933.

Jones, G. P., McCormick, M. I., Srinivasan, M., & Eagle, J. V. (2004). Coral decline threatens fish biodiversity in marine reserves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 101(21), 8251-8253.

Juárez-Hernández, L. G. (2008). Composición, distribución y abundancia de la ictiofauna en la Bahía Maguey, Huatulco, Oaxaca, y su relación con la complejidad (estructura) del hábitat (Tesis de maestría). Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, México.

Juárez-Hernández, L. G. (2014). Estructura de las comunidades de peces de las bahías del Parque Nacional Huatulco, con énfasis en los sistemas de arrecifes de coral (Tesis doctoral). Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa, México.

Juárez-Hernández, L. G., & Tapia-García, M. (2017). Variación espacial en número de especies, abundancia y diversidad de peces en las Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca, México. Revista de Biología Tropical, 65(4), 1407-1418.

Juárez-Hernández, L. G., & Tapia-García, M. (2018). Listado ictiofaunístico de las bahías del Parque Nacional Huatulco, Oaxaca, México. Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 16, 96-111.

Juárez-Hernández, L. G., Tapia-García, M., & Luna-Monsiváis, B. (2013). Estructura de las comunidades de peces de las bahías Maguey y Cacaluta, Huatulco, Oaxaca. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 84(4), 1243-1257.

Lasagna, R., Gnone, G., Taruffi, M., Morri, C., Bianchi, C. N., Parravicini, V., & Lavorano, S. (2014). A new synthetic index to evaluate reef coral condition. Ecological Indicators, 40, 1-9.

Lewis, A. R. (1997). Effects of experimental coral disturbance on the structure of fish communities on large patch reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 161, 37-50.

Lewis, A. R. (1998). Effects of experimental coral disturbance on the population dynamics of fishes on large patch reefs. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 230(1), 91-110.

Lirman, D., Glynn, P. W., Baker, A. C., & Leyte Morales, G. E. (2001). Combined effects of three sequential storms on the Huatulco coral reef tract, Mexico. Bulletin of Marine Science, 69(1), 267-278.

López-Pérez, R. A., Guendulain-García, S., Granja-Fernández, R., Hernández-Urraca, V., Galván-Rowland, L., Zepeta-Vilchis, R., & López-López, D. (2016). Reef Community Changes Associated with the 2009-2010 El Niño in the Southern Mexican Pacific. Pacific Science, 70(2), 175-190.

López-Pérez, R. A., Hernández-Ballesteros, L. M., & Herrera-Escalante, T. (2002). Cambio en la dominancia de la comunidad arrecifal en Chachacual, Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca. Ciencia y Mar, 16(4), 33-38.

López-Pérez, R. A., Calderón-Aguilera, L. E., Zepeda-Vilchis, R. C., López Pérez-Maldonado, I., & López- Ortiz, A. M. (2012). Species composition, habitat configuration and seasonal changes of coral reef fish assemblages in western Mexico. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 29(2), 437-448.

López-Pérez, R. A., López Pérez-Maldonado, I., López-Ortiz, A. M., Barranco-Servín, L. M., Barrientos-Villalobos, J., & Leyte-Morales, G. E. (2010). Reef fishes of the Mazunte-Bahías de Huatulco reef track, Oaxaca, Mexican Pacific. Zootaxa, 2422(1), 53-62.

López-Pérez, R. A., Guendulain-García, S., Granja-Fernández, R., Hernández-Urraca, V., Galván-Rowland, L., Zepeta-Vilchis, R., & López-López, D. (2016). Reef Community Changes Associated with the 2009–2010 El Niño in the Southern Mexican Pacific. Pacific Science, 70(2), 175-190.

López-Pérez, R. A., Granja-Fernández, R., Aparicio-Cid, C., Zepeta-Vilchis, R. C., Torres-Huerta, A. M., Benítez-Villalobos, F., López-López, D. A.…Valencia-Méndez, O. (2014). Corales pétreos, equinodermos y peces asociados a comunidades y arrecifes coralinos del Parque Nacional Huatulco, Pacífico sur mexicano. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, 85(4), 1145-1159.

Magaña-Melgoza, P., & Vega-González, E. (1991). Problemática ambiental del desarrollo turístico bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca. Ingeniería Ambiental, 4, 6-12.

Mendoza, M. (2011). Clausura PROFEPA obras que afectaban el Parque Nacional Huatulco. PLANETAAZUL. Recuperado de

Mora, C. (2015) Perpetual struggle for conservation in a crowded world and the needed paradigm shift for easing ultimate burdens. In C. Mora (Ed.), Ecology of Fishes on Coral Reefs (pp. 289-296). Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Moreno-Sánchez, X. G. (2009). Estructura y organización trófica de la ictiofauna del arrecife de los Frailes, B. C. S., México (Tesis doctoral). Instituto Politécnico Nacional, México.

Munday, P. L. (2004). Habitat loss, resource specialization, and extinction on coral reefs. Global Change Biology, 10(10), 1642-1647.

Pérez‐España, H., & Abitia‐Cárdenas, L. A. (1996). Description of the digestive tract and feeding habits of the king angelfish and the Cortes angelfish. Journal of fish Biology, 48(5), 807-817.

Pielou, E. C. 1977. Mathemathical Ecology. New York: Wiley.

Piniak, G. A., & Brown, E. K. (2008). Growth and Mortality of Coral Transplants (Pocillopora damicornis) along a Range of Sediment Influence in Maui, Hawaii. Pacific Science, 62(1), 39-55.

Pratchett, M. S., Wilson, S. K., & Baird, A. H. (2006). Declines in the abundance of Chaetodon butterflyfishes following extensive coral depletion. Journal of Fish Biology, 69(5), 1269-1280.

Pratchett, M. S., Munday, P. L., & Wilson, S. K. (2008). Effects of climate-induced coral bleaching on coral-reef fishes. Ecological and economic consequences. Oceanography and Marine Biology: Annual Review, 46, 251-296.

PROFEPA. (2011). Clausura la PROFEPA obras que afectaban el Parque Nacional Huatulco. PROFEPA. Recuperado de:

Ramírez-Gutiérrez, J. M. (2010). Relación del hábitat con la comunidad de peces en la bahía San Agustín, Huatulco, México (Tesis de maestría). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México.

Raymundo, L. J., Couch, C. S., & Harvell, C. D. (2008). Coral Disease Handbook: Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring and Management. Melbourne, Australia: Currie Communications Pty Ltd.

Riegl, B. M., Heine, C., & Branch, G. M. (1996). Function of funnel-shaped coral growth in a high-sedimentation environment. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 145, 87.

Robertson, D. R., & Allen, G. R. (2015). Peces costeros del Pacífico Oriental Tropical: sistema de información en línea. Version 2.0. Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones tropicales, Balboa, República de Panamá. Recuperado de:

Rogers, C. S. (1990). Responses of coral reefs and reef organisms to sedimentation. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 62(1), 185-202.

Rogers, A., Blanchard, J. L., & Mumby, P. J. (2014). Vulnerability of coral reef fisheries to a loss of structural complexity. Current Biology, 24(9), 1000-1005.

Tapia-García, M., García-Abad, A., Carranza-Edwards, A., & Vázquez-Gutiérrez, F. (2007). Environmental characterization of the continental shelf of the gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico. Geofísica Internacional, 46, 249-260.

Thomson, D. A., Findley, L. T., & Kerstitch, A. N. (2000). Reef fishes of the Sea of Cortez: The rocky-shore fishes of the Gulf of California. Texas: University of Texas Press.

Shannon, C. E., & Wiener, W. (1963). The mathematical theory of comunication. Illinois: University of Illinois.

Shedrawi, G., Falter, J. L., Friedman, K. J., Lowe, R. J., Pratchett, M. S., Simpson, C. J., ... Zhang, Z. (2017). Localised hydrodynamics influence vulnerability of coral communities to environmental disturbances. Coral Reefs, 36(3), 1-12.

Simpson, E. H. (1968). Measurement of diversity. Nature, 163, 688.

Spalding, M. D., & Jarvis, G. E. (2002). The impact of the 1998 coral mortality on reef fish communities in the Seychelles. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 44(4), 309-321.

Syms, C., & Jones, G. P. (2000). Disturbance, habitat structure, and the dynamics of a coral‐reef fish community. Ecology, 81(10), 2714-2729.

Vélez-Ascencio, O. (2009). PROFEPA sanciona con $600 mil a Fonatur por anomalías en andador de Huatulco. La Jornada. Obtenido de

Wenger, A. S., Johansen, J. L., & Jones, G. P. (2011). Suspended sediment impairs habitat choice and chemosensory discrimination in two coral reef fishes. Coral Reefs, 30(4), 879-887.

West, J. M., & Salm, R. V. (2003). Resistance and resilience to coral bleaching: implications for coral reef conservation and management. Conservation Biology, 17(4), 956-967.

Wilson, S. K., Graham, N. A., Pratchett, M. S., Jones, G. P., & Polunin, N. V. (2006). Multiple disturbances and the global degradation of coral reefs: are reef fishes at risk or resilient? Global Change Biology, 12(11), 2220-2234.


Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2018 Revista de Biología Tropical


Download data is not yet available.