2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

Fish diversity survey on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System
Brianna R. King* and Rebecca P. Barndollar
Dr. LaRoy Brandt, Faculty Mentor

Commerical endeavors in coral reef systems can be destructive to habitats, but preventing industry on the reef requires compelling quantitative analyses of biological diversity. However, current data regarding species richness in the Mesoamerican reef is sparse. Here, we provide a snapshot of fish diversity among various locations along the reef which can be used in long-term analyses of the effect of conservation. Using the traditional transect method to gather data and Specrich2 to analyze the data, we determined the species richness of nine reef habitats along the coast of Belize, including a particularly commercialized location known as Mexico Rocks (with a species richness on the lower side of the range of species richnesses found). Granting this location protection has not only the obvious benefit of preserving diversity, but also the potential for generating the first systematic records of the quantitative effect of conservation on the Mesoamerican reef.

Keywords: species richness, marine conservation, fish diversity, coral reef, transect, Specrich2

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 303-3
Location: MG 1098
Time: 1:30

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