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Verde is one of the eight emergent platform reefs that form part of the Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano, Veracruz Reef System (VRS), located just off the port of Veracruz in the Western Gulf of Mexico. In 1992, the Mexican government declared the system a Natural Protected Area with a National Marine Park status. It has an island associated with it called Verde Island, which hosts low and mostly natural vegetation as well as transplanted almond trees that provide a shade canopy over part of the island.
Location on Continental Shelf: Inner-Shelf Bank
Coordinates: 19.20° N 96.07° W
Nearest Largest City: Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
Information about the community structure of individual reefs in the VRS is limited. Instead, the existing knowledge describes conditions in the system as a whole. Scleractinian patch reefs for instance, grow in the Gulf of Mexico offshore from the port of Veracruz, Mexico. They occur in a unique depositional environment. Here corals not only live, but flourish in some locations despite their proximity to terrigenous sediments. They are separated into two strikingly different depositional environments by the Rio Jamapa, yet lie only 12 miles apart. Analysis of the dominant ostracod species in 33 samples collected on the reefs indicate the existence of two distinct biofacies. Loxocorniculum tricornatum dominates the Veracruz group. Two ostracod species, L. tricornatum and Morkhovenia inconspicua, are cosmopolitan, and occur at several points throughout the system. Rare species living on the Veracruz and Anton Lizardo reef complexes are generally restricted to the Veracruz complex. Simple diversity analysis (# of species per station) demonstrate that the Veracruz reefs are more diverse than those of Anton Lizardo, located South of the VRF. However, Shannon-Weiner information function and equitability values indicate that diversity differences are minimal, and do not reflect the observed environmental differences. Thus, the more simple distributional data reflect better the contrasts in depositional environments observed in the field (primarily more turbid, sediment -laden waters on the Anton Lizardo complex- vice-versa on the Veracruz complex).
Instituto Nacional de Ecologia (INE). 1992. DECRETO por el que se declara área natural protegida con el carácter de Parque Marino Nacional, la zona conocida como Sistema Arrecifal Veracruzano. Web accessed on Feb. 2, 2004
Krutak, P.R. 1980. Modern Ostracod Species Diversity, Dominance, and Biofaces Patterns Veracruz-Anton Lizardo Reefs, Mexico. Anales del Centro de Limnologia. Department of Geology, University of Nebraska. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Geología, México 20, D. F. Web accessed on Feb. 2 2004
Tunnell, J.W., Jr. 2007. Reef Distribution (chapter 2). In Tunnell, J.W. Jr., Chavez, E.O. and Withers, K. (eds) Coral Reefs of the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, TX, 216 p.
Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia
Instituto Nacional de Ecologia INE Decreto
Keywords: Reef, Island, Emergent platform, Veracruz Reef System, Natural protected area, National marine park, Almond trees, Scleractinian patch reefs, Morkhovenia inconspicua, L. tricornatum, Loxocorniculum tricornatum
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To cite GulfBase, use: F. Moretzsohn, J.A. Sánchez Chávez, and J.W. Tunnell, Jr., Editors. 2013. GulfBase: Resource Database for Gulf of Mexico Research. World Wide Web electronic publication. http://www.gulfbase.org, 18 May 2013.
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