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The effect of mangrove development on coral reef fish in Bocas del Toro, Panama and global mangrove management methods

Yingst, Alexandra (2016) The effect of mangrove development on coral reef fish in Bocas del Toro, Panama and global mangrove management methods. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Mangroves provide a variety of ecosystem services to humans, such as timber for construction and a place for tourists to visit. They are also important nursery habitats for juvenile fish that migrate to nearby coral reefs, providing humans fish for food and recreation. In this study, 50-meter transects were conducted in Bocas del Toro, Panama, on coral reefs near coastlines under three categories: (1) with intact mangroves, (2) with mangroves interspersed with development, and (3) without mangroves. Transects were used to determine species richness, species diversity, and biomass of reef fish. The results showed a statistically significant difference in species richness, species diversity, and biomass of reef fish on coral reefs near intact and degraded mangroves when compared to coral reefs without mangroves. The results indicate that the development of mangroves in Bocas del Toro at these sites has minimized harm to reef fish because it has not removed many mangroves and has potentially provided an alternative habitat for juvenile fish. Studies need to be conducted on the relationship between the anthropogenic impact on mangroves and reef fish because mangroves face increasing disturbance due to rises in population and tourism. In addition to the sites in Bocas del Toro, this thesis also examines global mangrove management practices, including the role that ecotourism plays in mangrove conservation. It demonstrates that education about mangroves in local communities, combined with bottom-up management and research through multiple academic disciplines, is the most effective way to conserve mangrove habitats for both local and tourism opportunities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Yingst, Alexandraalexandra.yingst@gmail.comALY28
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorCarson,
Committee MemberCrystal,
Committee MemberRoger,
Committee MemberMolly,
Date: 26 April 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 18 April 2016
Approval Date: 26 April 2016
Submission Date: 21 April 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 75
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Biological Sciences
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mangroves, Bocas del Toro, Mangrove development, Mangrove management
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2016 16:06
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:33


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