Community Ecology

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 125–134 | Cite as

Effect of habitat structure on the most frequent echinoderm species inhabiting coral reef communities at Isla Isabel National Park (Mexico)

  • B. Hermosillo-NuñezEmail author
  • F. Rodríguez-Zaragoza
  • M. Ortiz
  • C. Galván-Villa
  • A. Cupul-Magaña
  • E. Ríos-Jara


The spatial distribution and abundance of the seven most abundant species of echinoderms (Diadema mexicanum, Centrostephanus coronatus, Eucidaris thouarsii, Isostichopus fuscus, Pharia pyramidatus, Phataria unifascialis and Acanthaster ellisii) were evaluated in coral communities of Isla Isabel National Park (Mexico). Biological (corals and other benthic groups) and physical (rocks and boulders) structural elements of the habitat were evaluated to determine their relationship to these species. Our results show that species composition and abundance varied among sampling sites and between seasons. Also were obtained significant differences in the echinoderm assemblage among sites across seasons. Similar results were detected for the environmental variables related to benthic habitat structure. D. mexicanum, P. unifascialis, E. thouarsii and C. coronatus were the main contributors to the species abundance and distribution in Isla Isabel. Most echinoderm species were positively related to the coverage of different coral species, algae and various types of benthic organisms as well as to physical benthic variables. These outcomes suggest that the spatial distribution and abundance of these echinoderms are explained by the habitat structure, which should be used to design conservation and management strategies for coral communities.


Benthos Conservation evaluation Habitat management Invertebrates Marine Protected Area Subtidal 


Kerstitch and Bertsch (2007) 



Biological Value Index


Permutational Multivariate Analysis of Variance


Redundancy Analysis


Variance Inflation Factor


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

42974_2015_16010125_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (270 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 277 KB.


  1. Alvarado, J.J. and A. Chiriboga. 2008. Distribución y abundancia de equinodermos en las aguas someras de la Isla del Coco, Costa Rica (Pacífico Oriental). Rev. Biol. Trop. 56: 99–111.Google Scholar
  2. Alvarado, J.J., H.M. Guzman and O. Breedy. 2012. Distribution and diversity of echinoderms (Asteroidea, Echinoidea, Holothuroidea) in the islands of the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama. Rev. Biol. Mar. Oceanog. 47: 13–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alves, F.M.A., L.M. Chicharo, E. Serrão and A.D. Abreu. 2001. Algal cover and sea-urchin spatial distribution at Madeira Island (NE Atlantic). Sci. Mar. 65: 383–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, M.J., R.N. Gorley and K.R. Clarke. 2008. PERMANOVA+ for PRIMER: guide to software and statistical methods. Plymouth: PRIMER-E. pp. 274.Google Scholar
  5. Aroson, R.B., P.J. Edmunds, W.F. Precht, D.W. Swanson and D.R. Levitan. 1994. Large scale, long-term monitoring of Caribbean coral reefs: simple, quick, inexpensive techniques. Atoll. Res. Bull. 421:1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Attrill, M.J., J.A. Strong and A.A. Rowden. 2000. Are macroin-vertebrate communities infuenced by structural complexity? Ecography 23: 114–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barham, E.G., R.W. Gowdy and F.H. Wolfson. 1973. Acanthaster (Echinodermata, Asteroidea) in the Gulf of California. Fish B-NOAA 71: 927–942.Google Scholar
  8. Badan, A. 1997. La corriente costera de Costa Rica en el pacífico mexicano. En: M.F. Lavín (eds) Contribuciones a la oceano-grafía física en México. Monografía No. 3, Unión Geofísica Mexicana. pp. 99–112.Google Scholar
  9. Bell, J.D. and R. Galzin. 1984. Influence of live coral covers on coral-reef fish communities. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 15: 265–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Benedetti-Cecchi, L., F. Bulleri and F. Cinelli. 1998. Density dependent foraging of sea urchins in shallow subtidal reefs on the west coast of Italy (western Mediterranean). Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 163: 203–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bolaños, N., A. Bourg, J. Gómez and J.J. Alvarado. 2005. Diversidad y abundancia de equinodermos en la laguna arrecifal del Parque Nacional Cahuita, Caribe de Costa Rica. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53: 285–290.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Chapman, M.G. and A.J. Underwood. 2008. Scales of variation of gastropod densities over multiple spatial scales: comparison of common and rare species. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 354: 147–160. doi:10.3354/MEPS07205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chatterjee, S.A., A.S. Hadi and B. Price. 2000. Regresion Analysis by Example. John Wiley and Sons, New York, USA.Google Scholar
  14. Clarke, K.R. and R.M. Warwick. 2001. Change in Marine Communities: an approach to statistical analysis and interpretation. PRIMER-E, Plymouth, UK. pp. 172.Google Scholar
  15. Clarke, K.R. and R.N. Gorley. 2006. Primer v6: user manual/tutorial. Primer-E Ltd, Plymouth, UK.Google Scholar
  16. Clemente, S., J.C. Hernández and A. Brito. 2009. Evidence of the top–down role of predators in structuring sublittoral rocky-reef communities in a marine protected area and nearby areas of the Canary Islands. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 66: 64–71.Google Scholar
  17. CONANP. 2005. Programa de conservación y manejo del Parque Nacional Isla Isabel, México. Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas. pp. 164.Google Scholar
  18. Drouin, G., J. Himmelman and T. Béland. 1985. Impact of tidal salinity fluctuations on echinoderm and mollusc populations. Can. J. Zool. 63: 1377–1387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dumont, C.P., J.H. Himmelman and M.P. Russell. 2004. Sea urchin mass mortality associated with algal debris from ice scour. In: N. Heinzeller (ed), Echinoderms. Taylor & Francis Group: London. pp. 177–182.Google Scholar
  20. Entrambasaguas, L., A. Pérez-Ruzafa, J.A. García-Charton, B. Stobart and J.J. Bacallado. 2008. Abundance, spatial distribution and habitat relationships of echinoderms in the Cabo Verde Archipelago (eastern Atlantic). Mar. Freshwater Res. 59: 477– 488.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Galván-Villa, C.M., J.L. Arreola-Robles, E. Ríos-Jara and F.A. Rodríguez-Zaragoza. 2010. Ensamblajes de peces arrecifales y su relación con el hábitat bentónico de la Isla Isabel, Nayarit, México. Rev. Biol. Mar. Oceanog. 45: 311–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gaston, K.J. 1994. Rarity. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar
  23. Glynn, P.W. 1981. Acanthaster population regulation by a shrimp and a worm. Proceedings of the Fourth International Coral Reef Symposium 2: 607–612.Google Scholar
  24. Glynn, P.W., G.M. Wellington and C. Birkeland. 1979. Coral reef growth in the Galápagos: Limitation by sea urchin. Science 203: 47–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Glynn, P.W. and G.M. Wellington. 1983. Corals and Coral Reefs of the Galapagos Islands (with and annotated list of the scleractin-ian corals of the Galapagos by J. W. Wells). Univ. California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  26. González-Medina, M.J., O. Holguín-Quiñones and G. de la Cruz-Aguero. 2006. Variación espacio-temporal de algunos inver-tebrados (Gastropoda, Bivalvia y Echinodermata) de fondos someros del Archipiélago Espíritu Santo, B.C.S., México. Cienc. Mar. 32: 33–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Granja-Fernández. M.R. and R.A. López-Pérez. 2012. Biodiversidad de ofiuroideos (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) de Oaxaca y Chiapas, México. En: Recursos acuáticos costeros del sureste, Vol. 1: 356–370.Google Scholar
  28. Hagen, N. and K. Mann. 1992. Functional response of the predators American lobster Homarus americanus (Milne-Edwards) and Atlantic wolffish Anarhichas lupus (L) to increasing numbers of the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachinesis (Müller). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 159: 89–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hasan, M.H. 2005. Destruction of a Holothuria scabra population by overfishing at Abu Rhamada Island in the Red Sea. Mar. Environ. Res. 60: 489–511- doi:10.1016/J.MARENVRES.2004.12.007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Herrera-Escalante, T., López-Pérez, R.A., Leyte-Morales, G.E. 2005. Bioerosion caused by the sea urchin Diadema mexicanum (Echinodermata: Echinoidea) at Bahías de Huatulco, western Mexico. Rev. Biol. Trop. 53: 263–273.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Herrero-Pérezrul, M.D., H. Reyes-Bonilla, A. González-Azcárraga, C.E. Cintra-Buenrostro and A. Rojas-Sierra. 2008. Equinodermos. In: G.D. Danemann and E. Ezcurra (eds) Bahía de Los Ángeles. INE-PRONATURA, Ensenada, B.C., México. pp. 339–361.Google Scholar
  32. Holguín-Quiñones, O.E., F.J. González-Medina, F. Solís-Marín and E.F. Félix-Pico. 2008. Variación espacio-temporal de Scleractinia, Gorgonacea, Gastropoda, Bivalvia, Cephalopoda, Asteroidea, Echinoidea y Holothuroidea, de fondos someros de la isla San José, Golfo de California. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56: 1189– 1199.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Honey-Escandón, M., F.A. Solís-Marín and A. Laguarda-Figueras. 2008. Equinodermos (Echinodermata) del Pacífco Mexicano. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56: 57–73.Google Scholar
  34. Hooker, Y., F.A. Solís-Marín and M. Lleellish. 2005. Equinodermos de las Islas Lobos de Afuera (Lambayeque, Perú). Rev. Per. Biol. 12: 77–82.Google Scholar
  35. Kelaher, B.P. 2003. Changes in habitat complexity negatively affect diverse gastropod assemblages in coralline algal turf. Oecologia. 135: 431–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kerstitch, A. and H. Bertsch. 2007. Sea of Cortez Marine Invertebrates: a guide for the Pacific coast, México to Peru. Se Challengers, Monterey, California.Google Scholar
  37. Kopp, D., Y. Bouchon-Navaro, M. Louis, L. Pierre and C Bouchon. 2012. Spatial and temporal variation in a Caribbean herbivorous fsh assemblage. J. Coastal. Res. 28(1A): 63–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Legendre, P. and L. Legendre. 1998. Numerical Ecology. 2nd English edition. Elsevier, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  39. Legendre, P., D. Borcard and P. Peres-Neto. 2005. Analyzing beta diversity: partitioning the spatial variation of community composition data. Ecol. Monogr 75:435–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Loya-Salinas, D.H. and A. Escofet. 1990. Aportaciones al cálculo del Índice de Valor Biológico (Sanders, 1960). Contribution to the calculation of the Biological Value Index (Sanders, 1960). Cienc. Mar. 16:97–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Luna-Salguero, B.M. and H. Reyes-Bonilla. 2010. Estructura co-munitaria y trófica de las estrellas de mar (Echinodermata: Asteroidea) en arrecifes rocosos de Loreto, Golfo de California, México. Hidrobiológica 20: 127–134.Google Scholar
  42. Mercier, A., J.F. Hamel, T.G. Toral-Granda, J.J. Alvarado, P.E. Ortiz and M. Benavides 2013. Isostichopus fuscus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 04 January 2014
  43. McClanahan, T.R. 1998. Predation and the distribution and abundance of tropical sea urchin populations. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 221: 231–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Nuño-Hermosillo, A. 2003. Estructura y dinámica poblacional del pepino de mar Isostichopus fuscus en la costa de Jalisco, México. Tesis de Maestría. Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad de Guadalajara.Google Scholar
  45. Ortiz, M., R. Levins, L. Campos, F. Berrios, F. Campos, F. Jordán, B. Hermosillo, J. González and F. Rodríguez. 2013. Identifying keystone trophic groups in benthic ecosystems: Implications for fisheries management. Ecol. Indic. 25: 133–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Paine, R.T. 1969. A note of tropic complexity and community stability. Am. Nat. 103: 91–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pérez-Ruzafa, A., J.J. Alvarado, F.A. Solís-Marín et al. 2013. Latin America echinoderm biodiversity and biogeography: Patterns and affinities. In: J.J Alvarado and F. A. Solís-Marín (eds) Echinoderm research and diversity in Latin America. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg [doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-20051-9_16]Google Scholar
  48. Reyes-Bonilla, H. and L.E. Calderon-Aguilera. 1999. Population density, distribution and consumption rates of three corallivores at Cabo Pulmo Reef, Gulf of California, Mexico. Mar. Ecol. 20: 347–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Reyes-Bonilla, H., M.D. Herrero-Pérezrul, S. González-Romero, A. González-Peralta and Y. Ramírez-Hernández. 2008. Abundance of the brown sea cucumber Isostichopus fuscus at the National Park Bahía de Loreto, México. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56: 265–271.Google Scholar
  50. Ríos-Jara, E., C.M. Galván-Villa and F.A. Solís-Marín. 2008. Equinodermos del Parque Nacional Isla Isabel, Nayarit, México. Rev. Mex. Biodivers. 79: 131–141.Google Scholar
  51. Roberts, D., Gebruk, A., Levin, V. , and Manship, B. A. D. 2003. Feeding and digestive strategies in deposit-feeding holothurians. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review: Volume 38: An Annual Review, 38, 257.Google Scholar
  52. Rodríguez-Zaragoza, F.A., A.L. Cupul-Magaña, C.M. Galván-Villa, E. Ríos-Jara, M. Ortiz, E.G. Robles-Jarero, E. López-Uriarte and J.E. Arias-González. 2011. Additive partitioning of reef fish di-versity variation: a promising marine biodiversity management tool. Biodiver. Conserv. 20: 1655–1675.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rosenzweig, M.L. 1995. Species Diversity in Space and Time. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Sala, E. 1997. Fish predators and scavengers of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus in marine protected areas of the northwestern Mediterranean. Mar. Biol. 129-531-539.Google Scholar
  55. Sanders, H.L. 1960. Benthic studies in Buzzard Bay. III. The structure of the soft-bottom community. Limnol. Oceanogr. 5:38–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Sammarco, P.W. 1982. Echinoid grazing as a structuring force in coral communities: whole reef manipulations. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 61: 31–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Solís-Marín, F.A. 2008. Catálogo de los equinodermos recientes de México (Fase II). Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Informe fnal SNIB-CONABIO proyecto No. DC016 México.Google Scholar
  58. ter Braak, C.J.F. and P. Šmilauer. 2002. CANOCO reference manual and CanoDraw for Windows user’s guide: software for canonical community ordination (version 4.5) Microcomputer Power, USA.Google Scholar
  59. Tilman, D. and P. Kareiva. 1997. Spatial ecology: the role of space in population dynamics and interspecific interactions. Princeton University Press, Princeton (New Jersey).Google Scholar
  60. Tuya, F., A. Boyra and R.J. Haroun. 2004. Blanquizales en Canarias: La explosión demográfica del erizo Diadema antillarum en los fondos rocosos de Canarias. BIOGES, Canarias, EspañaGoogle Scholar
  61. Tyler, P.A., C.M. Young and A. Clarke. 2000. Temperature and pressure tolerances of embryos and larvae of the Antarctic sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri: potential for deep-sea invasion from high latitudes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 192: 173–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tylianakis, J.M., T.A. Rand, A. Kahmen, A.M. Klein, N. Buchmann, J. Perner and T. Tscharntke. 2008. Resource Heterogeneity Moderates the Biodiversity-Function Relationship in Real World Ecosystems. Plos Biol 6(5): e122. doi:10.1371/journal. pbio.0060122.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  63. Vance, R.R. 1979. Effects of grazing by the sea urchin, Cent-rostephanus coronatus, on prey community composition. Ecology. 60: 537–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Vardaro, M.F., H.A. Ruhl and K.L. Smith Jr. 2009. Climate variation, carbón flux, and bioturbation in the abyssal North Pacifc. Limnol.Oceanogr. 54: 2081–2088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zamorano, P. and G.E. Leyte-Morales. 2005. Cambios en la diver-sidad de equinodermos asociados al arrecife coralino de La Entrega, Oaxaca, México. Cienc. Mar. 9:19–28.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 2015

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Hermosillo-Nuñez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • F. Rodríguez-Zaragoza
    • 1
  • M. Ortiz
    • 2
  • C. Galván-Villa
    • 1
  • A. Cupul-Magaña
    • 4
  • E. Ríos-Jara
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Ecosistemas Marinos y Acuicultura, Departamento de Ecología, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Biológicas y AgropecuariasUniversidad de GuadalajaraLas Agujas Nextipac, ZapopanMéxico
  2. 2.Instituto Antofagasta, Laboratorio de Modelamiento de Sistemas Ecológicos Complejos (LAMSEC)Universidad de AntofagastaAntofagastaChile
  3. 3.Programa de Doctorado en Ciencias Aplicadas, Mención Sistemas Marinos Costeros, Facultad de Recursos del MarUniversidad de AntofagastaAntofagastaChile
  4. 4.Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Centro Universitario de la CostaUniversidad de GuadalajaraPto. VallartaMéxico

Personalised recommendations