Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 15–16 | Cite as

Lionfish invaded the mesophotic coral ecosystem of the Parque Nacional Arrecife Alacranes, Southern Gulf of Mexico

  • A. Aguilar-Perera
  • L. Quijano-Puerto
  • R. C. Hernández-Landa
Caribbean Coral Reefs
After the first detection of the Indo-Pacific lionfish ( Pterois volitans) off the Florida coast (USA) approximately 30 years ago, its populations have continued spreading throughout the Western Atlantic. The invasive lionfish is a threat to the marine ecosystems because individuals reproduce fast, reach high population densities, prey on many taxa without discrimination, disperse as larvae by currents, and lack predators (Côté et al. 2013). Now, the lionfish has been detected in the mesophotic coral ecosystems (Lesser and Slattery 2011), which are deep (30–150 m) fore-reef communities with low light adapted macroalgae and zooxanthellate corals and gorgonians (Lesser and Slattery 2011). These habitats are considered a buffer against anthropogenic disturbances that impact their shallow reef counterparts. It is necessary to document as much biological information as possible on lionfish not only to follow the progression of its invasion in the Western Atlantic, but also to identify...


Coralline Alga Yucatan Peninsula Trawl Survey Natural Protected Area Deep Reef 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) through the Parque Nacional Arrecife Alacranes. We thank I. Sobrino-Naal, A. Tuz-Sulub, J. Chi-Blanco, A. Coronado-Rivera, M. Milagro-Trujillo, and D. Camargo-Saavedra, for helping in many ways.


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biología MarinaUniversidad Autónoma de YucatánMeridaMexico

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