Recreational Beaches as Factors of Involvement in a Coral Community: Colima Case Study

  • Marco Agustín Liñán-CabelloEmail author
  • Jesús Emilio Michel-Morfin
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 24)


Despite the great ecological importance of coral reefs, they are under threat due to both natural and anthropogenic causes. When communities are located close to the coast, intensified human activity including pollution, overfishing, indiscriminate extraction, and deforestation of associated terrestrial ecosystems can destabilize a coral ecosystem, resulting in loss of coral cover. This research analyzes different factors that can affect coral health, particularly associated with proximity to recreational beaches on the coast of Colima, Mexico. Environmental and anthropogenic factors affecting the loss of coral cover are analyzed in the La Boquita, as the main coral ecosystem of greater proximity to the beaches of great tourist load in Manzanillo. We also characterize some of the signs of stress response demonstrated by the Pocillopora genus, which is the most dominant in the region. We analyze various factors directly or indirectly related to tourists from nearby beaches, and the ways in which these factors can interact with other elements of stress, thereby helping to promote stress and affecting adaptive and reproductive capacity of the coral community. The communities of La Boquita and Carrizales are subject to different stressful conditions, and this is reflected in most indicators of reef health. La Boquita community shows signs of greater effects arising from excessive tourism and overfishing that have contributed to loss of coral coverage. Part of the current problem is caused by an influx of visitors from the beach of the same name. Negative effects stemming from lack of knowledge and awareness on the part of visitors and service providers are compounded by authorities’ insufficient efforts to carry out sustained and efficient surveillance, control, and use of these reefs.


Coral reef Coral cover Recreational beaches Tourist pressure Bleaching 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco Agustín Liñán-Cabello
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jesús Emilio Michel-Morfin
    • 2
  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias MarinasUniversidad de ColimaManzanilloMexico
  2. 2.Departamento de Estudios para el Desarrollo Sustentable de Zonas CosterasCUCSUR, Universidad de GuadalajaraGuadalajaraMexico

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