Skip to main content

Advertisement

Log in

Mesophotic ecosystems: coral and fish assemblages in a tropical marginal reef (northeastern Brazil)

  • Short Communication
  • Published:
Marine Biodiversity Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

Mesophotic reefs (30–150 m depths) have recently become recognized as species-rich marine ecosystems, even in areas showing suboptimal conditions, like turbid water with sediment resuspension. The present study reports a qualitative survey focused on scleractinian coral and fish assemblages in a marginal reef (northeastern Brazil, southwestern Atlantic) at lower mesophotic depth. Data collection was conducted in the summer of 2016 by scuba diving at 35–37 m depths. The occurrence of scleractinian reef corals Siderastrea stellata and Montastraea cavernosa suggests that these two species can be important reef-builders in mesophotic ecosystems in northeastern Brazil. The fish assemblage was characterized by 33 observed species, representing a large variety of trophic categories. The compositions of coral and fish species showed similarities with those of shallow-water reefs in the area. This may become relevant in understanding the connectivity between shallow and deep populations in the light of mesophotic reefs serving as refugia.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

References

  • Aguiar JE (2014) Caracterização mineralógica de sedimentos da plataforma continental dos estados do Ceará, Piauí e Maranhão através da microscopia analítica SEM/EDS. PhD thesis, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil

  • Amado-Filho GM, Moura RL, Bastos AC, Francini-Filho RB, Pereira-Filho GH, Bahia RG, Moraes FC, Motta FS (2016) Mesophotic ecosystems of the unique South Atlantic atoll are composed by rhodolith beds and scattered consolidated reefs. Mar Biodivers. doi:10.1007/s12526-015-0441-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bejarano I, Appeldoorn RS, Nemeth M (2014) Fishes associated with mesophotic coral ecosystems in La Parguera, Puerto Rico. Coral Reefs 33:313–328. doi:10.1007/s00338-014-1125-6

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bongaerts P, Frade PR, Hay KB, Englebert N, Latijnhouwers KRW, Bak RPM, Vermeij MJA, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2015) Deep down on a Caribbean reef: lower mesophotic depths harbor a specialized coral-endosymbiont community. Sci Rep 5:7652. doi:10.1038/srep07652

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Bryan DR, Kilfoyle K, Gilmore RG, Spieler RE (2013) Characterization of the mesophotic reef fish community in south Florida, USA. J Appl Ichthyol 29:108–117. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0426.2012.02055.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cordeiro RTS, Neves BM, Rosa-Filho JS, Pérez CD (2015) Mesophotic coral ecosystems occur offshore and north of the Amazon River. Bull Mar Sci 91:491–510. doi:10.5343/bms.2015.1025

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dias FJS, Castro BM, Lacerda LD (2013) Continental shelf water masses off the Jaguaribe River (4S), northeastern Brazil. Cont Shelf Res 66:123–135. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2013.06.005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Erftemeijer PLA, Riegl B, Hoeksema BW, Todd PA (2012) Environmental impacts of dredging and other sediment disturbances on corals: a review. Mar Pollut Bull 64:1737–1765. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.05.008

    Article  PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Francini-Filho RB, Coni EOC, Meirelles PM, Amado-Filho GM, Thompson FL, Pereira-Filho GH, Bastos AC, Abrantes DP, Ferreira CM, Gibran FZ, Güth AZ (2013) Dynamics of coral reef benthic assemblages of the Abrolhos Bank, eastern Brazil: inferences on natural and anthropogenic drivers. PLoS One 8, e54260. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054260

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Freitas JE, Lotufo TMC (2014) Reef fish assemblage and zoogeographic affinities of a scarcely known region of the western equatorial Atlantic. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 95:623–633. doi:10.1017/S0025315414001404

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hinderstein LM, Marr JCA, Martinez FA, Dowgiallo MJ, Puglise KA, Pyle RL, Zawada DG, Appeldoorn R (2010) Theme section on “mesophotic coral ecosystems: characterization, ecology, and management”. Coral Reefs 29:247–251. doi:10.1007/s00338-010-0614-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hoeksema BW, Bongaerts P, Baldwin CC (2016) High coral cover at lower mesophotic depths: a dense Agaricia community at the leeward side of Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean. Mar Biodivers. doi:10.1007/s12526-015-0431-8

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Knoppers B, Ekau W, Figueiredo AG (1999) The coast and shelf of east and northeast Brazil and material transport. Geo Mar Lett 19:171–178. doi:10.1007/s003670050106

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leão ZMAN, Kikuchi RKP, Ferreira BP, Neves EG, Sovierzoski HH, Oliveira MD, Maida M, Correia MD, Johnsson R (2016) Brazilian coral reefs in a period of global change: a synthesis. Braz J Oceanogr 64:97–116. doi:10.1590/S1679-875920160916064sp2

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lesser MP, Slattery M, Stat M, Ojimi M, Gates RD, Grottoli A (2010) Photoacclimatization by the coral Montastraea cavernosa in the mesophotic zone: light, food, and genetics. Ecology 91:990–1003. doi:10.1890/09-0313.1

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Loya Y, Eyal G, Treibitz T, Lesser MP, Appeldoorn R (2016) Theme section on mesophotic coral ecosystems: advances in knowledge and future perspectives. Coral Reefs 35:1–9. doi:10.1007/s00338-016-1410-7

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Magalhães GM, Amado-Filho GM, Rosa MR, de Moura RL, Brasileiro PS, De Moraes FC, Francini-Filho RB, Pereira-Filho GH (2015) Changes in benthic communities along a 0–60 m depth gradient in the remote St. Peter and St. Paul Archipelago (Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Brazil). Bull Mar Sci 91:377–396. doi:10.5343/bms.2014.1044

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meirelles PM, Amado-Filho GM, Pereira-Filho GH, Pinheiro HT, de Moura RL, Joyeux JC, Mazzei EF, Bastos AC, Edwards RA, Dinsdale E, Paranhos R, Santos EO, Iida T, Gotoh K, Nakamura S, Sawabe T, Rezende CE, Gadelha LMR Jr, Francini-Filho RB, Thompson C, Thompson FL (2015) Baseline assessment of mesophotic reefs of the Vitória-Trindade Seamount Chain based on water quality, microbial diversity, benthic cover and fish biomass data. PLoS One 10, e0130084. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130084

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Moura RL, Secchin NA, Amado-Filho GM, Francini-Filho RB, Freitas MO, Minte-Vera CV, Teixeira JB, Thompson FL, Dutra GF, Sumida PYG, Guth AZ, Lopes RM, Bastos AC (2013) Spatial patterns of benthic megahabitats and conservation planning in the Abrolhos Bank. Cont Shelf Res 70:109–117. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2013.04.036

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Moura RL, Amado-Filho GM, Moraes FC, Brasileiro PS, Salomon PS, Mahiques MM, Bastos AC, Almeida MG, Silva JM, Araújo BF, Brito FP, Rangel TP, Oliveira BCV, Bahia RG, Paranhos RP, Dias RJS, Siegle E, Figueiredo AG Jr, Pereira RC, Leal CV, Hadju E, Asp NE, Gregoracci GB, Neumann-Leitão S, Yager PL, Francini-Filho RB, Fróes A, Campeão M, Silva BS, Moreira APB, Oliveira L, Soares AC, Araujo L, Oliveira NL, Teixeira JB, Valle RAB, Thompson CC, Rezende CE, Thompson FL (2016) An extensive reef system at the Amazon River mouth. Sci Adv 2, e1501252. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1501252

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Pinheiro HT, Goodbody-Gringley G, Jessup ME, Shepherd B, Chequer AD, Rocha LA (2016) Upper and lower mesophotic coral reef fish communities evaluated by underwater visual censuses in two Caribbean locations. Coral Reefs 35:139–151. doi:10.1007/s00338-015-1381-0

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sanders D, Baron-Szabo RC (2005) Scleractinian assemblages under sediment input: their characteristics and relation to the nutrient input concept. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 216:139–181. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2004.10.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Silva LCF, Alvarenga JBR (1994) Levantamento do estado da arte dos recursos vivos marinhos do Brasil—Oceanografia Física da Região Nordeste. Ministério do Meio Ambiente, Brasilia

    Google Scholar 

  • Soares MO, Rossi S, Martins FAS, Carneiro PBM (2016) The forgotten reefs: benthic assemblage coverage on a sandstone reef (Tropical South-western Atlantic). J Mar Biol Assoc UK. doi:10.1017/S0025315416000965

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Spalding MD, Fox HE, Allen GR, Davidson N, Ferdaña ZA, Finlayson M, Halpern BS, Jorge MA, Lombana AI, Lourie SA, Martin KD, McManus E, Molnar J, Recchia CA, Robertson J (2007) Marine ecoregions of the world: a bioregionalization of coastal and shelf areas. Bioscience 57:573–583. doi:10.1641/B570707

  • Tornabene L, van Tassell JL, Robertson DR, Baldwin CC (2016) Repeated invasions into the twilight zone: evolutionary origins of a novel assemblage of fishes from deep Caribbean reefs. Mol Ecol 25:3662–3682. doi:10.1111/mec.13704

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

Financial support was provided by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq (grant 233808/2014-0 to MOS) and INCT-AmbTropic (National Institute of Science and Technology for Tropical Marine Environments). We thank the editor and four anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments, which helped us to improve the manuscript.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marcelo de Oliveira Soares.

Additional information

Communicated by B. W. Hoeksema

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de Oliveira Soares, M., Davis, M., de Paiva, C.C. et al. Mesophotic ecosystems: coral and fish assemblages in a tropical marginal reef (northeastern Brazil). Mar Biodiv 48, 1631–1636 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12526-016-0615-x

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12526-016-0615-x

Keywords

Navigation