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The Antigua estuary is located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, in the central part of the Gulf of Mexico. The river originates in the East side of the Sierra Madre Oriental just North of the Pico de Orizaba as the Chichiquila River, runs through a gorge while receiving waters coming from the Cofre de Perote mountain and changing its name to the Jacomulco or Pescados River. It continues on a West to East path receiving the Santa Maria, Paso de Ovejas and San Juan rivers and finally heads towards its final destination in the Gulf of Mexico, where it ends forming the barra de Antigua or Antigua bar. A salt-water intrusion occurs near the coast.
The vegetation around the estuary includes riparian, induced and cultivated pastures, pine-oak and mesophyll forests, low caducifolia jungle, as well as streams with well preserved ecotonal communities and short basins that run through different altitudes in small distances. Flora examples include Brosimum alicastrum, Bursera simuraba and Cedrela odorata among others. Species such as Gambusia affinis and Priapella bonita form part of the biodiversity of the Antigua estuary, but they are also considered endangered species, victims of the contamination that originates in the oil refineries, citric processing plants, pulp and paper mills, sugar mills and urban centers around the Gulf of Mexico.
Economically, the area benefits from the catching of the king-size shrimps Macrobrachium acanthurus and M. carcinus, coffee and sugar cane crops and seasonal agriculture. Unfortunately, some of those agricultural practices have been inadequate and, along with deforestation, have contributed to the degradation of some parts of the high and low river basins.
Coordinates: 19.48° N 96.30° W
Castañeda L.O. and F.E. Contreras. 2001. Serie: Bibliografia Comentada sobre ecosistemas costeros mexicanos 2001. Centro de Documentacion Ecosistemas Litorales Mexicanos. Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, Division C. B. S. Depto. de Hidrologia. Publicacion electronica (CD). ISBN:970-654-912-9. Mexico, D.F.
Programa Regiones Hidrológicas Prioritarias: Arriaga,L., V. Aguilar, J. Alcocer, R. Jiménez, E. Muñoz y E. Vázquez (coordinadores). Regiones hidrológicas prioritarias. Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad. México.
Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y uso de la Biodiversidad. Mexico. CONAVIO
Keywords: Estuary, Salt-water intrusion, King-size shrimp
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