Community structure of bivalves and gastropods in roots of red mangrove Rhizophora mangle (Rhizophoraceae) in Isla Larga, Mochima Bay, Venezuela.
The Rhizophora mangle roots form a complex ecosystem where a wide range of organisms are permanently established, reproduce, and find refuge. In this study, we assessed the diversity of bivalves and gastropods that inhabit red mangrove roots, in Isla Larga, Mochima, Venezuela Sucre state. Bimonthly collections were made from January 2007 to May 2008, in four study areas denominated: South, North, East and West. In each area, five mangrove roots were sampled, and the specimens were obtained. We analyzed a total of 180 roots and a total of 35 bivalve species and 25 gastropod species were found. The most abundant bivalves were: Isognomon alatus, Isognomon bicolor, Ostrea equestris, Crassostrea rhizophorae and Brachidontes exustus; among gastropods, the most common where: Littorina angulifera, Cymatium pileare and Diodora cayenensis. The months with the highest abundances and number of individuals for both groups were January and July 2007, and March 2008. The mangrove ecosystem in Isla Larga, presented a number of individuals and species higher than those reported for other regions in Venezuela and the Caribbean.