Colonization of fiber-glass plates by benthic diatoms from subtidal sediment off the coast of Yucatan, Mexico

Yuriko Jocselin Martínez Hernández, David Alfaro Siqueiros Beltrones, Pedro Luis Ardisson Herrera


Benthic diatoms thrive in many types of substrata, either natural or alternative such as the surfaces of large and small boats in which colonization by micro- and macro-organisms (fouling) represents an important economic and environmental problem. Addressing this issue is difficult given the scarce information on benthic diatoms one of the main micro-fouling settlers. Thus, this study aimss to describe the colonization process by diatoms on fiber-glass plates and construct a floristic list of the diatom taxa growing both on these surfaces and their likely source the subtidal bottom sediment. The study was conducted at a coastal site off Telchac, Yucatan (Mexico), where fiber-glass plates were laid over the bottom sediment at a depth of 10 m during four months. Sampling was carried out over successive spaced points in time (1st, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 12th and 16th weeks) after the initial immersion of the plates. At the end 88 taxa growing on the plates and sediment were identified, the most abundant ones being Cocconeis scutellum var. parva, Cymatosira lorenziana, Paralia sulcata, Delphineis surirella var. australis, Actinoptychus senarius, Grammatophora marina and Shionodiscus oestrupii. Included were two new records for the Mexican littorals: Cocconeis latestriata and Navicula uniseriata. Overall species composition differs from previous studies in the area, to which forty-seven taxa are added here, increasing their total number to 210. Our results show the changes in the species composition of the taxocenosis over time, during the initial colonization period, i.e., the period during which there is no intense competition for space. The high percentage of common species between the plates and sediment (similarity) support the hypothesis that subtidal sediment is the most likely source for diatoms colonizing the plates.


alternative substratum; Bacillariophyceae; floristics; microfouling; sandy beaches

Full Text:



Alonzo, S. L., Vinajera, R. C., & Rodriguez, R. G. 2006. Granulometria de dos tipos predominantes de suelo del estado de Yucatán. Ingenieria, 10, 61-68.

Cooksey, K. E., & Wigglesworth-Cooksey, B. 1995. Adhesion of bacteria and diatoms to surfaces in the sea: a review. Aquatic Microbial Ecology, 9, 87-96.

Contreras, F., Herzing, M., & Botello, A. 1998. Atlas del Golfo y Caribe Mexicano. Centro de eco desarrollo. Secretaria de pesca.

Fernandes, L. F., Brandini, F. P., Gutzeit, K. S., Fonseca A. L., & Pellizzari, F. M. 1999. Benthic diatoms growing on glass slides in the Paranagua Bay, southern Brazil: Taxonomic structure and seasonal variation. Revista do Horto Botanico, 28, 53-100.

Foged, N. 1975. Some littoral diatoms from the coast of Tanzania. Bibliotheca

Phycologica. J. Cramer, Odense.

Foged, N. 1978. Diatoms in Eastern Australia. Bibliotheca Phycologica. J. Cramer,


Foged, N. 1984. Freshwater and littoral diatoms from Cuba. Bibliotheca Diatomologica. J. Cramer, Odense.

Herrera-Silveira, J. A., & Morales-Ojeda, S. M. 2009. Evaluation of the health status of a coastal ecosystem in southeast Mexico: Assessment of water quality, phytoplankton and submerged aquatic vegetation. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 59, 72–86.

Hernández-Almeida, O. U., Herrera-Silveira, J. A., & Merino-Virgilio, F. 2013. Nueve nuevos registros de diatomeas bentónicas de los géneros Climaconeis, Cocconeis, Licmophora, Talaroneis, Oestrupia, Petroneis y Synedrosphenia en la costa norte de la Península de Yucatán, México. Hidrobiológica, 23, 154-168.

Hernández-Almeida, O. U., López-Fuerte, F. O., Herrera-Silveira, J. A., & Aldana-Aranda, D. 2014. Primer registro de la diatomea Navicula lusoria Giffen 1975 para Mexico y el Mar Caribe. Hidrobiológica, 24, 281–286.

Hustedt, F. 1955. Marine littoral diatoms of Beaufort North Carolina. Duke University Marine Station Bulletin, 6, 1-67.

Korte V. L., & Blinn D. W. 1983. Diatom colonization on artificial substrata in pool and rifle zones studied by light and scanning electron microscopy. Journal of Phycology, 19, 332- 341.

Licea, S., Zamudio, M. E. Moreno-Ruíz, J. L., & Luna, R. 2011. A suggested localregions in the Southern Gulf of Mexico using a diatom database (1979-2002) and oceanic hydrographic features. Journal of Environmental Biology, 32, 443-453.

Logan, B. W., Harding, J. L., Ahr, W. M., Williams, J. D., & Snead, R. S. 1969. Carbonate sediments and reefs of the Yucatan Shelf Mexico. Part 1: Late Quaternary carbonatesediments of Yucatan Shelf, Mexico. American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 11, 1-128.

López-Fuerte, F. O., & Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A. 2006. Distribución y estructura de

comunidades de diatomeas en sedimentos de un sistema de manglar. Hidrobiologica, 16,


López-Fuerte, F. O., Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A., & Navarro, N. 2010. Benthic diatoms associated with mangrove environments in the northwest region of Mexico, CONABIO–UABCS–IPN.

López-Fuerte, F. O., Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A., & Hernández-Almeida, O. U. 2013. Epiphytic diatoms of Thalassia testudinum in Yalahau lagoon, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Marine Biodiversity Records 6: e107.

López-Fuerte, F. O., & Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A. 2016. A checklist of marine benthic diatoms (Bacillariophyta) from México. Phytotaxa, 283, 201-258.

López-Fuerte, F. O., Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A., Veleva, L., & Huerta-Quintanilla, D. A. 2017. Species composition and assemblage structure of microfouling diatoms growing on fiberglass plates off the coast of Yucatán, Mexico. Hidrobiológica, 27, 23-37.

Mitbavkar, S., & Anil, A. C. 2000. Diatom colonization on stainless steel panels in estuarine waters of Goa, west coast of India. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 29, 273-276.

Mitbavkar, S., & Anil, A. C. 2007. Species interactions within a fouling diatom community: roles of nutrients, initial inoculum and competitive strategies. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, 23, 99-112.

Molino P., & Wetherbee R. 2008. The biology of biofouling diatoms and their role in the development of microbial slimes. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research. 24, 365-379.

Navarro, J. N., & Hernández-Becerril, D. U. 1997. Check-list of marine diatoms from the Caribbean Sea. In: Listados florísticos de Mexico. XV. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico. Mexico, D.F.

Patil, J. S., & Anil, A. C. 2005a. Quantification of diatoms in biofilms: standardization of

methods. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, 21, 181–188.

Patil, J. S., & Anil, A. C. 2005b. Biofilm diatom community structure: Influence of temporal and substratum variability. Biofouling: The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, 21, 189-206.

Peragallo, H., & Peragallo, M. 1908. Diatomées marines de France et des districs maritimes voisins. M. J. Tempere, Fontainebleau.

Redekar, P. D., & Wagh, A. B. 2000. Studies on fouling diatoms from the Zuari estuary Goa (West coast of India). Seaweed Research and Utilization, 22, 113-119.

Siqueiros-Beltrones D.A., & Ibarra-Obando, S.E. 1985. Lista Florística de las diatomeas epifitas de Zostera marina en Bahía Falsa, San Quintín B. C. Ciencias Marinas, 11, 21-67.

Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A. 2002. Diatomeas bentónicas de la península de Baja California; diversidad y potencial ecológico. Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas-Instituto Politécnico Nacional / Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, México. 119.

Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A., & Hernández-Almeida, O. U. 2006. Florística de diatomeas epifitas en un manchón de macroalgas subtropicales. CICIMAR Oceánides, 21, 11-61.

Siqueiros Beltrones, D. A., & Martínez, Y. J. 2017. Prospective floristics of epiphytic diatoms on Rhodophyta from the Southern Gulf of Mexico. CICIMAR Oceánides, 32, 35-49.

Stidolph, S. R., Sterrenburg, F. A. S., Smith, K. E. L., & Kraberg, A. 2012. Diatom Atlas: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1163, accessed on February, 2018, available online at

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, United States. Navy Dept. Bureau of Ships. 1952. Marine fouling and its prevention; prepared for Bureau of Ships, Navy Dept. DOI:10.1575/1912/191,

Zubia, M., Robledo, D., & Freile-Pelegrin, Y. 2007. Antioxidant activities in tropical marine macroalgae from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Journal of Applied Phycology 19, 449–458.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

CICIMAR Oceánides,  Av. Instituto Politécnico Nacional s/n Col. Playa Palo de Santa Rita, CP. 23096 La Paz, Baja California Sur, México. Teléfono (52)6121230350 ext. 81527.   ISSN: 2448-9123,  otorgado por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor.