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Laguna Pueblo Viejo
Laguna Pueblo Viejo is located in front of the port of Tampico on the coast of the state of Veracruz. It neighbors with the cities of Cuahutémoc and Tampico Alto to the east and the Panuco River to the north, connecting to it through a channel located at the northeast end of the lagoon, 9 km away from the ocean. Pueblo Viejo is a shallow lagoon with an average depth of 1.5 m, giving it the status of a marsh or swamp. This characteristic allows solar energy to penetrate the water and reach the bottom of the lagoon allowing photosynthetic mechanisms to take place among plant communities.
Pueblo Viejo hosts thirty-five species of molluscs belonging to the Gastropoda and Bivalvia classes. Most of the gastropods living in the lagoon are epibenthic deposit collectors, while the bivalves are infaunal, taking suspended particles from the water column. The fish community in the lagoon presents a direct correlation between its numbers and the amount of precipitation. Rains increase river discharge, supplying extra nutrients and organic matter into the lagoon system. The greatest amount of fish is registered in the months of July and October, both following the greatest amount of precipitation in the months of June and September, respectively. Among the 67 fish species present in the waters of Pueblo Viejo, the most abundant are Bardiella chrysoura, Anchoa mitchilli, Cathorops melanopus, Mugil curema, Opsanus beta, Brevoortia patronus, Ariopsis felis, Bardiella ronchus and Dorosoma cepedianum.
Physical and chemical parameters present high fluctuations particularly around the northeast and southeast areas, where the lagoon receives the waters of the Panuco and the Tamacuil rivers, the first being the main contributor of organic and inorganic matter to the lagoon. The changes are accentuated by the influence of annual rains, which generate environmental variability. Salinity, which ranges from 0 to 33 ppt, is mainly controlled by the freshwater contribution during the rainy season. Oxygen changes from 0.85 to 10.34 mg/l, following the phytoplankton’s primary productivity pattern and the temperature varies from 15 to 34 degrees Celsius.
As other coastal lagoons in the state of Veracruz, Pueblo Viejo plays an important role in the fishing industry of the region, and as a result of such and other human activities, it is also subject to problems such as organic pollution, which affects the health of organisms and determines the kinds of species that can be fished.
Coordinates: 22.15° N 97.80° W
Selected Characteristics: (Castaneda and Contreras, 2001)
Surface Area: 94 km2
Average Depth: 1.5 m
Average Salinity: 13 ppt
Castaneda 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.
Borabe, L., Sericano, J. L., Garcia-Murillo, A., and F. J. Carrillo-Romo. Biomonitoreo de Hidrocarburos Aromaticos Polinucleares en el sistema estuarino-lagunar del rio Panuco, Mexico. Instituto Politecnico Nacional Cicata-IPN, Unidad Altamira.
Keywords: Shallow lagoon, Marsh, Swamp, Physical fluctuation, Chemical fluctuation, Organic pollution, Mexico, Veracruz
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