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From Reef to Paramo

   

 Ecosystems

Ecuador encompasses regions with disinct geographic and climatic conditions. These ecoregions include a varitety of ecosystems in marine, Andean and Amazon environments. The distribution of flora and fauna within their natural habitats is a key baseline for understanding the ecology of such resources and devising measures of conservation. Our projects have focused on reefs and the Páramo.
 
 Links

 

Environmental information and data are most useful when they can be accessed by a broad audience. ITME has therefore created summaries of the main findings and source publications via its habitat information platforms. To view examples use the links below.

Marine Habitats of Dominica (Caribbean)
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Marine Habitats of Nicaragua (Central America, Pacific)
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Marine Habitats of El Pelado (South America, Pacific)
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Ecuador Projects
PÁRAMO
Population structure of selected plant species from the Páramo
and the biodiversity of their associated flora. Info.
REEF
Population structure and connectivity of octocorals from continental Ecuador and the Galápagos. Info.

 

 Population structure of selected Páramo plant species and the bidodiversity of their associated flora.

Paramo: Initiated by S.C.C. Steiner (SS) and P. Lozano Caprio (PL), several excursions and expeditions into Ecuador's Páramo have been carried out in 2020 (Llanaganates, Tungurahua / Napo) and 2021 (El Ángel, Carchi) to study the population structure of Espeletia spp. in their natural habitats, and the biodiversity of the associated flora. Research permit grated by the Ministry of the Environment, Ecuador: N 15-20-IC-FAU/FLO-DPAN/MA. The scientific team includes B. Riegl (BR) and E. Ramírez-Iglesias (ER). Focal areas: population structure / ecology (SS, BR), botany / taxonomy (PL), edaphology (ER). This is an ongoing project, so far funded by all team members. New results will be posted here as soon as possible.

 
 Population structure and connectivity of octocorals from continental Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands

Reef: Following the experiences from the Pelado Project (see below), the population structure of octocorals from the entire continental coast of Ecuador and parts of the Galapagos Islands were examined in 2018 in a collaborative study initiated by S.C.C. Steiner and B. Riegl, and joined by P. Martínez, F. Rivera. The entire team contributed personal funding for the fieldwork. SS was also assisted by the Prometeo Program (B 2015–0296), Ecuadorian National Secretariat of Higher Education, Science and Technology and granted the research permit (MAE013–15, IC–FAU–DPSE–MA) by Ministry of the Environment. PM and FR were supported by Instituto Nazca. K. Collins and J. Mallinson (University of Southampton, UK) funded ship costs in Galápagos under Charles Darwin Foundation research permit number: PC20-18, granted by the Galápagos National Parks Directorate.

Aspects of this work were included in:

Steiner SCC, Martínez P, Rivera F, Johnston B, Riegl B (2020) Octocoral populations and connectivity in continental Ecuador and Galápagos, Eastern Pacific. In Riegl B (Ed), Population Dynamics of the Reef Crisis. Adv Mar Biol 87: 411 – 431.

 

 The Pelado Project

Reef: Ecuador's PROMETEO Program by SENESCYT (Secretaria de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Inovación y Tecnología) sponsored S.C.C. Steiner (SS) to establish a preliminary public marine habitat information platform for CENAIM/ESPOL (CENAIM Centro Nacional de Acuicultura e Investigación Marina /ESPOL Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral). Following the approach developed and applied in Dominica (Eastern Caribbean) by SS in 2006, selected benthic sites within the Marine Reserve El Pelado (Santa Elena), were studied to determine how the "gist" of its invertebrate communities could be introduced to a wider audience / multiple stakeholders. Field surveys were adapted to the local conditions and logistic limitations encountered, and carried out by SS and A. Lavorato (AL) between late of October 2015 and January 2016. Funding for field excursions was provided by the SENESCYT Research Grant awarded to J. Rodriguez (CENAIM) as well as personal funds from SS and AL. Field work was carried out under the research permit 013-IC-FA-DPSE-MA-2015 E granted to SS by the Ministry of the Environment, Santa Elena, Ecuador. View preliminary information platform via this link: http://www.cenaim.espol.edu.ec/REMAPE. A temporary platform can be viewed by clicking on the image above.

The Pelado Project provided
a multi-tier and replicable model for documenting invertebrate communities in benthic marine habitats on the continental coast of Ecuador and to make the findings widely accessible. The model was also introduced during talks at the following institutions: 2016 Nov. PUCE Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Ecuador, Porto Viejo, III Congr. Mar. Biol. Env.; 2016 Nov. ULVR Universidad Laica Vincente Rocafuerte, Guayaquil, INPIN III Investigacion para Inovacion; 2016 Aug. ESPE Escuela Superior Politécnica del Ejercito, Salinas; 2016 Jun. ULVR Universidad Laica Vincente Rocafuerte, Guayaquil; 2016 Jun. PS Universidad Politecnica Salesiana, Guayaquil; 2016 Jun. UEES Universtidad Espiritu Santo, Guayaquil; 2016 May and Jun. ESUNA Escuela Superior Naval, Salinas; 2016 May UPR Universidad de Costa Rica, San José; 2015 Nov. PUCE Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Ecuador, Bahia de Caraquez, II Congr. Mar. Biol. Env.

Aspects of this work were included  in:

Steiner SCC, Lavorato A, Rodriguez J (2017). Manual on documenting benthic invertebarate communities from rocky environments of the Marine Reserve El Pleado, Santa Elena, Ecuador.

Steiner SCC, Riegl B, Lavorato A, Rodriguez J (2018) Community structure of shallow water Alcyonacea (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) from the southern Tropical Eastern Pacific. Ecol. Res. doi: 10.1007/s11284-018-1567-3

Steiner SCC, Martínez P, Rivera F, Johnston B, Riegl B (2020) Octocoral populations and connectivity in continental Ecuador and Galápagos, Eastern Pacific. In Riegl B (Ed), Population Dynamics of the Reef Crisis. Adv Mar Biol 87: 411 – 431 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.amb.2020.07.002

     

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