The Campeche Bank is a key ecosystem in terms of connectivity between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and an important center of marine and estuarine biodiversity; however, it is being targeted by fisheries, oil companies, and invasive species. Thus, it is important to develop analyses that allow us to have a deeper understanding of its functioning and disturbance implications. In this study, the fish community of the Campeche Bank was analyzed through a nested ecomorphological classification to determine the diversity and distribution of functional groups (FGs) and its relation to environmental variables. Fifty-nine FGs were determined, implying a high degree of ecological segregation. Our results indicate a strong relationship between species and functional diversity. The eastern portion of the Campeche Bank is the most diverse, and it presents higher concentrations of oxygen and chlorophyll a, while the western portion is the less diverse and the most targeted by anthropogenic activities. The most specious FGs are zoobenthivores. A relationship was found between top predators, zooplanktivore, and zoobenthivore FGs, which may indicate top-down regulations. The presence of the invasive lionfish in the portion of higher diversity puts at risk the persistence of functional diversity. The present study is the first fish functional analysis of the Campeche Bank, which allowed us to describe the central characters, to know the species interactions and potential affectations by invasive species.
Functional groups, Spatial distribution, Habitat characterization, Ecomorphology, Benthic species, Top-down regulations, Niche, Invasive species.