The rise and demise of plastic shopping bags in Chile – Broad and informal coalition supporting ban as a first step to reduce single-use plastics

Autores:

Amenábar Cristi, M., Holzapfel, C., Nehls, M., De Veer, D., Gonzalez, C., & Holtmann, G., Honorato-Zimmer, D., Kiessling, T., Leyton Munoz, A., Narvaez Reyes, S., Nunez, P., Sepulveda, J.M., Vásquez, N., Thiel, M.

Resumen:

Single-use plastic bags (SUPBs) were introduced to society as a way to facilitate our daily lives, but due to their low post-use value they are found as litter in many different environments, from urban to rural and remote, natural environments. Given the increasing awareness about environmental litter, many communities have banned SUPBs in the recent past. Here we explore an emerging economy to document the rise and demise of SUPBs in society. Through a review of scientific and grey literature (including governmental documents and media coverage) we reconstruct the timeline of SUPBs in Chile, including the development of the plastic industry and retail business within Chile, the introduction, spread and finally the demise of SUPBs. Focused on the demise phase, we document the creation and succession of municipal ordinances to reduce SUPBs in local commerce, and the development of a national law to regulate the use of SUPBs. In order to document the involvement of the general public during the demise phase, we also examined current behavior and behavioral intentions of people in (i) a local project introducing reusable cloth bags to reduce the use of SUPBs, and (ii) a consumer survey about public perception of SUPBs and their use. Plastic bags were introduced in Chile in the 1970s, then spread with the emergence of supermarkets and retail stores in the 1980s and 1990s, and were widely used in commerce by the turn of the century. During the first decade of the 21st century the first scientific studies reported large amounts of plastic litter and high proportions of single-use plastics in coastal environments, public awareness grew, and numerous initiatives aiming to reduce consumption and littering of plastics developed. The first municipal ban of SUPBs in 2013 was emulated during the following five years by 62 other Chilean municipalities and in 2018 translated into a national law, which was highly approved and supported by the population. We conclude that the ban of SUBPs in Chile was facilitated by a broad concern among the general public, which led to a bottom-up movement culminating in the national government taking stakes in the issue. Finally, we argue that this can only be a first step that must be followed by further actions to abolish single-use products in order to effectively protect the environment and in particular the world's oceans.

Año: 2019

Palabras claves: Marine litter, Willingness to engage, Socio-economic factors, Pro-environmental behavior, Waste management.

Seasonal Variability of the Southern Tip of the Oxygen Minimum Zone in the Eastern South Pacific (30°‐38°S): A Modeling Study

Autores:

Pizarro‐Koch, M., Pizarro, O., Dewitte, B., Montes, I., Ramos, M., Paulmier, A., & Garçon, V.

Resumen:

We investigate the seasonal variability of the southern tip (30°–38°S) of the eastern South Pacific oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) based on a high horizontal resolution (1/12°) regional coupled physical‐biogeochemical model simulation. The simulation is validated by available in situ observations and the OMZ seasonal variability is documented. The model OMZ, bounded by the contour of 45 μM, occupies a large volume (4.5x104 km3) during the beginning of austral winter and a minimum (3.5x104 km3) at the end of spring, just 1 and 2 months after the southward transport of the Peru‐Chile Undercurrent (PCUC) is maximum and minimum, respectively. We showed that the PCUC significantly impacts the alongshore advection of dissolved oxygen (DO) modulating the OMZ seasonal variability. However, zonal transport of DO by meridionally alternating zonal jets and mesoscale eddy fluxes play also a major role in the seasonal and spatial variability of the OMZ. Consistently, a DO budget analysis reveals a significant contribution of advection terms to the rate of change of DO and the prominence of mesoscale variability within the seasonal cycle of these terms. Biogeochemical processes and horizontal and vertical mixing, associated with subgrid scale processes, play only a secondary role in the OMZ seasonal cycle. Overall, our study illustrates the interplay of mean and (mesoscale) eddy‐induced transports of DO in shaping the OMZ and its seasonal cycle off Central Chile.

Año: 2019

Palabras claves: Oxygen minimum zone, Eddy fluxes, Peru‐Chile Undercurrent, Oxygen budget, Eastern South Pacific

Multiple reproductive modes of Myrcianthes coquimbensis (Myrtaceae), an endangered shrub endemic to the Atacama Desert

Autores:

García-Guzmán, P., Loayza, A., & Squeo, F.

Resumen:

Many plants can produce seeds via multiple reproductive modes, such as selfing and outcrossing. Having multiple reproductive modes can be advantageous if it assures seed production when outcrossing fails, which is important for species inhabiting environments where pollinators are scarce or variable. However, it can also be disadvantageous due to the fitness costs associated to selfing. Consequently, plants have mechanisms to reduce the incidence of selfing. Here we examined the breeding system of Myrcianthes coquimbensis; this threatened Atacama Desert shrub is the last species to bloom in the community and exhibits low visitation rates per flower because pollinators are less abundant. Our aim was to determine whether this plant can produce fruits by modes other than outcrossing, and whether it possesses floral traits to prevent sexual interference. We conducted experimental flower treatments in two localities to determine whether fruits were produced by outcrossing, selfing, autonomous selfing and agamospermy. We also evaluated stigma receptivity and pollen viability during a flower’s lifespan. M. coquimbensis developed fruits and seeds by all the reproductive modes assessed, including selfing and agamospermy. Flowers presented partial segregation of sexual functions, with the peak of pollen viability occurring before the peak of stigma receptivity. Selfing is unavoidable in M. coquimbensis and likely interferes with outcrossing. Coupled with possible early inbreeding depression, it probably results in a cost for seed production. Our results suggest that this species may be vulnerable in scenarios where pollinators are scarce; however, agamospermy may provide an alternative route of seed production in these scenarios.

Año: 2020

Palabras claves: Breeding system, Agamospermy, Selfing, Mix-Mating, Protandry, Reproductive assurance, Sexual interference.

Antagonistic interplay between pH and food resources affects copepod traits and performance in a year-round upwelling system

Autores:

Aguilera, V., Vargas, C., & Dam, H.

Resumen:

Linking pH/pCO2 natural variation to phenotypic traits and performance of foundational species provides essential information for assessing and predicting the impact of ocean acidification (OA) on marine ecosystems. Yet, evidence of such linkage for copepods, the most abundant metazoans in the oceans, remains scarce, particularly for naturally corrosive Eastern Boundary Upwelling systems (EBUs). This study assessed the relationship between pH levels and traits (body and egg size) and performance (ingestion rate (IR) and egg reproduction rate (EPR)) of the numerically dominant neritic copepod Acartia tonsa, in a year-round upwelling system of the northern (23° S) Humboldt EBUs. The study revealed decreases in chlorophyll (Chl) ingestion rate, egg production rate and egg size with decreasing pH as well as egg production efficiency, but the opposite for copepod body size. Further, ingestion rate increased hyperbolically with Chl, and saturated at ~1 µg Chl. L−1. Food resources categorized as high (H, >1 µg L−1) and low (L, <1 µg L−1) levels, and pH-values categorized as equivalent to present day (≤400 µatm pCO2, pH > 7.89) and future (>400 µatm pCO2, pH < 7.89) were used to compare our observations to values globally employed to experimentally test copepod sensitivity to OA. A comparison (PERMANOVA) test with Chl/pH (2*2) design showed that partially overlapping OA levels expected for the year 2100 in other ocean regions, low-pH conditions in this system negatively impacted traits and performance associated with copepod fitness. However, interacting antagonistically with pH, food resource (Chl) maintained copepod production in spite of low pH levels. Thus, the deleterious effects of ocean acidification are modulated by resource availability in this system.

Año: 2020

Palabras claves:

Can hydraulic traits help to explain the current distributional limits in two Nothofagus species in the Chilean Andes?

Autores:

Carrasco-Urra, F., Saldaña, A., Molina-Montenegro, M.A.

Resumen:

The Andes of central Chile is a geographical gradient with a marked variation in its climatic conditions. Along its
slopes, are distributed the evergreen Nothofagus dombeyi and deciduous Nothofagus pumilio species that show
differences in their leaf habits, range extensions, and in their limits of latitudinal distribution. Plant ecology
proposes that unfavorable climatic conditions are limiting factors that determine the tree species distributions
and that the functional hydraulic traits responses allow understanding the mechanisms underlying the current
distribution of them. We hypothesize that both species will have lower mean values of KL and KS in populations
near to distribution limits compared with middle populations due that unfavorable climatic conditions are
predominant in the latitudinal range limits. We quantify in situ the leaf (KL) and xylem (KS) specific hydraulic conductivities in populations of N. dombeyi and N. pumilio near their northern and southern limits of distribution
as well as in a middle population along Chilean Andes. Results showed that both species had lower mean values
in populations near northern and southern limits compared to populations distributed in middle sites. Also, we
found that the hydraulic performance population of N. pumilio distributed in the middle site had higher than
N. dombeyi. We concluded that lower hydraulic conductivity associated with distribution limits for both study
species implies a lower probability of being affected by embolism, independently of their leaf habits, showing a
functional hydraulic convergence to low water availability or cold.

Año: 2019

Palabras claves: embolism, evergreen vs deciduous, hydraulic traits, Nothofagus , species distribution.

An analysis of modern pollen rain on an elevational gradient in the High-Andes of Central Chile (33°)

Autores:

Fernández Murillo, M.P., Cuevas, J.G., Maldonado, A.

Resumen:

The superficial pollen records are tools for the vegetal reconstruction of a certain area. Like a plant record,
pollen can be used to classify plant formations and determine plant diversity. Although some studies show the
relationship between pollen and vegetation in Chile, few have explored the pollen diversity in an altitudinal
gradient and its sensitivity as a marker of altitudinal belts. Consequently, we used pollen samples of surface soil
and by means of morphological identification, cluster analysis and zonation we determined the pollen groups
that represent the vegetation floors in an altitudinal gradient. Moreover, we compared pollen diversity among
these floors for three basins of the Chilean Central Andes as a comprehensive index of the pollen composition
and abundance. In the Laguna del Viento basin, four pollen groups coincided with the plant floors previously defined in the literature: sub Andean, Andean, and High Andean. The latter one was subdivided into two groups.
In the El Yeso basin, two pollen groups were determined, all corresponding to the Andean floor, and finally in
the El Volcán basin, two pollen groups were recorded that are related to the sub Andean and Andean vegetation
floors. On the other hand, only in one basin the pollen diversity decreased with the altitude. These results
showed that pollen assemblages can distinguish plant floors, but with a lower resolution than when using
established flora, probably due to the pollen taxonomic resolution, differential production and dispersal factors.

Año: 2019

Palabras claves: Altitude, Andes of Central Chile, diversity, pollen, vegetal distribution.

Molecular characterization and expression patterns of two LPS binding /bactericidal permeability-increasing proteins (LBP/BPIs) from the scallop Argopecten purpuratus.

Autores:

González, R., Brokordt, K., Rojas, R., & Schmitt, P.

Resumen:

Lipopolysaccharide-binding proteins (LBPs) and bactericidal permeability-increasing proteins (BPIs) are effec-
tors of the innate immune response which act in a coordinated manner to bind and neutralize the LPS present in

Gram negative bacteria. The structural organization that confers the function of LBPs and BPIs is very similar,
however, they are antagonistic to each other. In this work, we characterized two LBP/BPIs from the scallop
Argopecten purpuratus, namely ApLBP/BPI1 and ApLBP/BPI2. The molecular and phylogenetic analyses of
ApLBP/BPIs indicated that both isoforms display classic characteristics of LBP/BPIs from other invertebrates.

Additionally, ApLBP/BPIs are constitutively expressed in scallop tissues and their transcript expression is up-
regulated in hemocytes and gills in response to an immune challenge. However, some structural characteristics

of functional importance for the biological activity of these molecules, such as the net charge differ substantially
between ApLBP/BPI1 and ApLBP/BPI2. Furthermore, each isoform displays a specific profile of basal expression
among different tissues, as well as specific patterns of expression during the activation of the immune response.
Results suggest that functional specialization of ApLBP/BPIs might happen, with potential role as LBP or BPI in
this species of scallop. Further research on the biological activities of ApLBP/BPIs are necessary to elucidate their
participation in the scallop immune response.

Año: 2020

Palabras claves: Innate immunity, Antimicrobial effectors, Mollusks, Scallops, Aquaculture

Biochemical composition as a function of fruit maturity stage of bell pepper (Capsicum annum) inoculated with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

Autores:

Cisternas-Jamet, J., Salvatierra-Martínez, R., Vega-Gálvez, A., Stoll, A., Uribe, E., & Goñi, M.

Resumen:

The use of growth promoting bacteria in sweet pepper plants (Capsicum annuum), such as some Bacillus strains,
has previously been related to increased yields and plant resistance. However, it is also important to evaluate the
effect that inoculation has on the ripening process and on the nutritional composition of the fruits. In the present
work, the effect of root inoculation of sweet pepper plants with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens on the composition of
sweet peppers harvested at different stages of maturation is evaluated. It was possible to determine a clear effect
of inoculation on the fixation of Ca and Fe, and the content of vitamin C and compounds with antioxidant
capacity. Root inoculation with Bacillus amyloliquefaciens generated an increase in the concentration of calcium,
iron and vitamin C of 561 mg kg−1, 182 mg kg−1 and 561 μg 100 g−1 d.m., respectively in Red II and Green I
compared to the control samples. An increase in antioxidant capacity was generated, which is reflected in an
increase in the ORAC test of 1618 umol TE 100 g−1 d.m. and in 587 umol TE 100 g−1 d.m. for Green I and Red I
crops respectively. On the other hand, the effect of the fruit ripening process was significant, especially in
relation to the development of natural pigments and phenolic compounds, with high antioxidant potential. An
increased of extractable pigments of 57 color units with respect to the control sample in Red II is highlighted,
which enhances the organoleptic attractiveness of the fruit. These results would allow producers to determine
the time at which to harvest to maximize the nutritional contribution of sweet peppers.

Año: 2020

Palabras claves: Bacillus, Biofertilizer, Nutraceutical, Antioxidants, Vitamin C

Modeling the reproductive impact of aquaculture-produced sexually fertile triploids on conspecific diploid populations

Autores:

Winkler, F., Concha, M., & Concha, C.

Resumen:

The use of artificially produced triploid (3n) organisms has been proposed as a strategy to produce total or partial sterility in a number of species in order to prevent the potential negative effects of escapees on the genetic structure and integrity of wild conspecific populations or to avoid having alien species become feral in a new environment. When infertility is incomplete, triploid organisms are able to produce gametes that compete with those produced by wild diploid populations or crops that share the same habitat during reproductive periods, which may adversely affect the reproductive success of the wild population. In the present study, a model was developed in order to estimate the effects of the production of gametes by triploid organisms on the reproductive efficiency of a sympatric diploid population of the same species. The chance of the production of balanced gametes by triploids rapidly reduced with the increase of haploid number of the species. It was concluded that, in most aquatic species, this effect depends on the relative contribution of gametes derived from triploid individuals ( pet), which is determined by the proportion of triploids in the population and their relative fecundity relative to normal diploids. The variation of the reproductive efficiency in a mixed population of diploids and triploids will be directly proportional to pet if only one sex is fertile in triploids but will have a logarithmic relationship if both sexes are fertile.

Año: 2019

Palabras claves: Triploids, Risk assessment, Reproductive success, Sterility, Chromosome manipulation, Fecundity

Long-term persistence of the floating bull kelp Durvillaea antarctica from the South-East Pacific: Potential contribution to local and transoceanic connectivity

Autores:

Tala, F., López, B., Velásquez, M., Jeldres, R., Macaya, E., & Mansilla, A., Ojeda, J., Thiel, M.

Resumen:

Current knowledge about the performance of floating seaweeds as dispersal vectors comes mostly from mid latitudes (30°–40°), but phylogeographic studies suggest that long-distance dispersal (LDD) is more common at high latitudes (50°–60°). To test this hypothesis, long-term field experiments with floating southern bull kelp Durvillaea antarctica were conducted along a latitudinal gradient (30°S, 37°S and 54°S) in austral winter and summer. Floating time exceeded 200d in winter at the high latitudes but in summer it dropped to 90d, being still higher than at low latitudes (<45d). Biomass variations were due to loss of buoyant fronds. Reproductive activity diminished during long floating times. Physiological changes included mainly a reduction in photosynthetic (Fv/Fm and pigments) rather than in defence variables (phlorotannins and antioxidant activity). The observed long floating persistence and long-term acclimation responses at 54°S support the hypothesis of LDD by kelp rafts at high latitudes.

Año: 2019

Palabras claves: Chile, Durvillaea antarctica, Floating persistence, Rafting, Dispersal, Floating seaweeds, Temperature