Seasonal changes of phytoplankton in the Paquera-Tambor Marine Area for Responsible Fishing, Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica

  • Andrea García-Rojas Universidad Nacional School of Biological Sciences Juan Bertoglia Richards Marine Biology Station
  • Hannia Vega Bolaños Universidad Nacional School of Biological Sciences Juan Bertoglia Richards Marine Biology Station
Keywords: Microalgae, seasonal changes, Marine Areas for Responsible Fishing, Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica


The implementation of Marine Areas for Responsible Fishing (MARF) is a tool for fisheries management; therefore, baseline studies play an important role in understanding the ecological dynamics from the bases of the food web in the MARF. The aim of this study was to identify the abundance of the phytoplankton communities associated with the MARF to determine the seasonal changes between abiotic variables and phytoplankton in the Paquera-Tambor MARF, Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica. Monthly sampling (September 2013 to August 2014) was performed for physical-chemical factors and phytoplankton. The data showed a temporal variation of both environmental factors and the phytoplankton community. The most representative microalgae were diatoms and dinoflagellates with a richness of 51 and 32 species, respectively, where the presence of some algal bloom forming species such as Cochlodinium catenatum was highlighted, with a concentration of 5.85x104 cells L-1. Regarding diatoms and parameters such as Secchi disk depth (r = -0.558) and the percentage of oxygen saturation (r = -0.490), a negative correlation was found due to climate variability in the area. Zooplanktonic tintinnids were identified and showed a positive correlation with diatoms (r = 0.433). A fundamental ecosystem dynamic was evident for the trophic development of the Tambor-Paquera-MARF, which underpins the importance of the fishing zone and reflects the relevance of continued biotic and abiotic monitoring for the area.


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How to Cite
García-Rojas, A., & Vega Bolaños, H. (2016). Seasonal changes of phytoplankton in the Paquera-Tambor Marine Area for Responsible Fishing, Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica. Journal of Marine and Coastal Sciences, 8(2), 29-45.

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