The colonial ascidian Diplosoma listerianum enhances the occurrence of the hydrozoan Obelia sp. during early phases of succession
Krüger, I., Lenz, M. and Thiel, M.
Recruitment patterns of sessile species often do not reflect the composition of the local propagule pool. This is, among other processes, attributed to the stimulation or inhibition of settlement by resident species. In an experimental study, we evaluated the effects of different densities of the ascidian Diplosoma listerianum on the settlement of the hydrozoan Obelia sp. For this, we monitored the cover of the dominant fouler Obelia sp. on vertically orientated PVC tiles, which were either bare or pre-seeded with two different densities (sparse or dense) of Diplosoma colonies, over the course of 8 weeks. The settlement tiles were deployed at two study sites in La Herradura Bay, Chile. The presence of D. listerianum enhanced the settlement or the growth or both of the colonial hydrozoan, but this effect disappeared within 4–8 weeks. Furthermore, we tested whether the initial enhancement of Obelia sp. by Diplosoma colonies goes back to the fact that larvae, which reject the ascidian tunic as a settlement substratum after a first contact, colonize nearby surfaces because of their limited mobility. However, we found no support for this assumption. We rather suggest that D. listerianum facilitated colonization indirectly by the accumulation of organic material in its vicinity and/or by its pumping activity. Initial resident-mediated enhancement of the hydrozoan was overridden by processes such as competition between later colonizers within the course of weeks and we could not detect any lasting effects of D. listerianum on the structure of the developing communities.
Palabras claves: Hard-bottom communities, Settlement, Facilitation, Diplosoma listerianum, Obelia sp.
Protected areas in Chile: are we managing them?
Petit, I., Campoy, A., Hevia, M., Gaymer, C. and Squeo, F.
Human population growth since the mid-1900s has been accompanied by an unsustainable use of natural resources and a corresponding impact on terrestrial and marine biota. In response, most states have established protected areas as tools to decrease biodiversity loss, being Chile one of the signatories of international conservation agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the 2010 Aichi Targets. This study reviews the Chilean protected areas that have been created to date, with an emphasis on the existence and effectiveness of management plans for all terrestrial and marine protected areas.
Effectiveness was individually evaluated using two filters: 1) the age of the management plan and 2) the first four steps of the Protected Areas Management Effectiveness (PAME) methodology recommended by the IUCN.
We show that 84 out of a total of 145 protected areas (PAs), and only five out of a total of 20 marine protected areas (MPAs), have management plans. Only 12% (N = 16) of PAs are effectively managed; while in the marine realm, no MPA has an effective plan.
Our results show the lack of both the effectiveness of and updates to the management plans for the vast majority of the national territory and raise the following question: is it sustainable to continue adding protected areas to the national system even though it is clear that the existing support is insufficient to meet the minimum requirements for full implementation?
Palabras claves: AICHI targets, Biodiversity, Conservation, Chile, Effective management, MPA
Spatio-temporal migratory dynamics of Jasus frontalis (Milne Edwards, 1837) in Alexander Selkirk Island, Juan Fernández archipelago, Chile
Román, C., Ernst, B., Thiel, M., Manríquez, P. and Chamorro, J.
Knowledge about the spatial patterns and movements of crustaceans has gained importance since the creation of marine protected areas and the development of spatial management for benthic ecosystems. The Juan Fernández spiny lobster (Jasus frontalis) is an endemic marine species and most valuable resource that exhibits migratory dynamics in a highly spatially regulated fishery. To study movement patterns around Alexander Selkirk Island, a mark-recapture program was implemented in 2008, when approximately 7000 non-commercial (undersized) lobsters were tagged and followed for nearly 14 months. Using quantitative georeferenced data, this study revealed spatial structuring of Juan Fernández spiny lobster and tested hypotheses about alongshore and inshore-offshore movements. Eight clusters were identified around Alexander Selkirk Island, with moderate time-varying connectivity between them. Seasonal inshore-offshore movements were detected all around the island, but more conspicuously to the north. Average travelling distance was 1.2 km (1.7 sd). Our results confirmed that towards the end of austral spring males and females embark in a seasonal offshore migration to deeper waters, returning to shallower waters only during winter. These findings quantitatively consolidate the conceptual migratory model that local fishermen had already inferred for this resource from about a century of sustainable fishing.
Heritability, genetic correlations and genotype-environment interactions for growth and survival of larvae and post-larvae of the Caribbean scallop, Argopecten nucleus (Mollusca: Bivalvia)
Barros, J., Winkler, F. and Velasco, L.
The Caribbean scallop Argopecten nucleus is a species with a great potential for commercial aquaculture in the Caribbean given its fast growth and the availability of culture technology. However, its production relies completely on hatchery-reared seed, and the survival in early stages, particularly during the settling process, is the main limitation for this activity to become cost effective. Thus, in order to assess the feasibility of improving survival of larvae and post-larvae of A. nucleus through genetic selection without affecting growth, it was estimated the heritability and the genotype-environment interactions for such traits, as well as the genetic correlations between them. These parameters were estimated based on intraclass correlations of 40 full-sib families (10 half-sib families) at 1, 11 and 75 days post fertilization. Heritability values were very high for the post-larvae survival (0.49), while it was low and not significant for larvae survival (≤0.07) and medium to high for growth traits of larvae and post-larvae (>0.3). The traits analyzed in post-larvae exhibited significant genotype-environment interactions in relation to culture depth in the sea. No significant genetic correlations between the measured traits were found. The results suggest the existence of an important genetic component in the variation of post-larval survival, and larval and post-larval growth, as well as a high potential response to direct genetic selection, especially for post-larval survival (50% increase per generation), without affecting the growth traits.
Palabras claves: Shell length, Shell height, Post-larvae recovery, Genetic improvement, Selective breeding, Genetic gain, Pectinid
Hormonal and physiological changes driven by fungal endophytes increase Antarctic plant performance under UV-B radiation
Ramos, P., Rivas, N., Pollmann, S., Casati, P. and Molina-Montenegro, M.
Antarctic environments are amongst the most stressful habitats for life on Earth, with high intensities of solar UV-B radiation reaching the land surface. In this study, we evaluated how the photochemical efficiency, cell damage and reproductive biomass of Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis) were affected by different intensities of UV-B radiation in the absence and presence of fungal endophytes. In addition, we evaluated the hormonal content of plants at different UV-B radiation intensities and how hormonal content was affected by endophytes. Overall, plants exposed to UV-B radiation showed higher numbers of flowers, higher total biomass and lower lipid peroxidation in the presence of endophytes compared with plants without endophytes. Photochemical efficiency was unaffected. Fungal endophytes affected the content of salicylic acid, jasmonate, indole-3-acetate and abscisic acid in shoot tissue of plants exposed to UV-B radiation. These results suggest that endophytes could modulate the hormonal content of C. quitensis to improve its ecophysiological performance under high UV-B radiation.
Palabras claves: Antarctica, Climate change, Colobanthus quitensis, Ecophysiological performance, Fungal endophytes
High acclimation potential in floating Macrocystis pyrifera to abiotic conditions even under grazing pressure – a field study
Rothäusler, E., Reinwald, H., López, B., Tala, F. and Thiel, M.
The persistence of floating seaweeds, which depends on abiotic conditions but also herbivory, had previously been mostly tested in outdoor mesocosm experiments. In order to investigate if the obtained mesocosm results of high seaweed persistence under natural environmental conditions and under grazing pressure can be extrapolated to field situations, we conducted in situ experiments. During two summers (2007 and 2008), Macrocystis pyrifera was tethered (for 14 d) to lines in the presence and absence of the amphipod Peramphithoe femorata at three sites (Iquique, Coquimbo, Calfuco). We hypothesized that grazing damage and seaweed persistence vary among sites due to different abiotic factors. By incubating the sporophytes in mesh bags, we were either able to isolate (grazing) or exclude (control) amphipods. To test for a mesh bag artifact, a set of sporophytes was incubated without mesh bags (natural). Mesh bags used to exclude herbivores influenced sporophyte growth and physiological performance. The chlorophyll a (Chl a) content depended largely on grazers and grazed sporophytes grew less than natural and control sporophytes within the two summers. A decrease in Chl a content was found for the sites with the highest prevailing irradiances and temperatures, suggesting an efficient acclimation to these sea surface conditions. Our field-based results of sporophyte acclimation ability even under grazing pressure widely align with previous mesocosm results. We conclude that M. pyrifera and other temperate floating seaweeds can function as long-distance dispersal vectors even with hitchhiking mesoherbivores.
Palabras claves: Macrocystis pyrifera; Peramphithoe femorata; amphipods; herbivory; kelp rafts; solar radiation; temperature.
Geographic variation in biochemical and physiological traits of the red seaweeds Chondracanthus chamissoi and Gelidium lingulatum from the south east Pacific coast
Véliz, K., Chandía, N., Karsten, U., Lara, C. and Thiel, M.
Diverse phenotypic characteristics have evolved in seaweeds to cope with environmental stress, but these traits can vary among populations of the same species especially if these are distributed along environmental gradients. In this study, natural populations of the carrageenophyte Chondracanthus chamissoi and the agarophyte Gelidium lingulatum from a latitudinal gradient along the Chilean coast (between 20° S and 41° S) were compared. We determined physiological and biochemical traits in field and culture samples. Sulfated polysaccharide contents ranged from 15.4 to 52.7% dry weight (DW) in C. chamissoi and from 10.9 to 25.1% DW in G. lingulatum. Carrageenan amounts were higher in gametophytes than tetrasporophytes and were also, depending on life cycle phase, negatively correlated with the geographic variation of temperature, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and chlorophyll a (Chl a), whereas agar showed no significant correlation with these variables. The UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) shinorine and palythine in both species ranged from 0.8 to 6.8 mg g−1 DW and these contents were positively correlated to PAR and Chl a levels at the sampling site. In C. chamissoi variation among populations in their photosynthetic characteristics, pigment concentrations, antioxidant capacity, and MAA contents were persistent after acclimation under common-garden conditions, suggesting ecotypic differentiation in this species. Contrary, G. lingulatum seems to have a more generalist strategy because differences after cultivation were observed only in some photosynthetic parameters and phycobiliprotein concentration. This study confirms that intraspecific differences in phenotypic traits along the same geographic area are strongly dependent on species and life cycle phases.
Palabras claves: Rhodophyta, Carrageenans, Agar, Mycosporine-like amino acids, Ecotypes, Chile
The impact of different agroecological conditions on the nutritional composition of quinoa seeds
Reguera, M., Conesa, C., Gil-Gómez, A., Haros, C., Pérez-Casas, M., Briones-Labarca, V., Bolaños, L., Bonilla, I., Álvarez, R., Pinto, K., Mujica, Á. and Bascuñán-Godoy, L.
Quinoa cultivation has been expanded around the world in the last decade and is considered an exceptional crop with the potential of contributing to food security worldwide. The exceptional nutritional value of quinoa seeds relies on their high protein content, their amino acid profile that includes a good balance of essential amino acids, the mineral composition and the presence of antioxidants and other important nutrients such as fiber or vitamins. Although several studies have pointed to the influence of different environmental stresses in certain nutritional components little attention has been paid to the effect of the agroecological context on the nutritional properties of the seeds what may strongly impact on the consumer food's quality. Thus, aiming to evaluate the effect of the agroecological conditions on the nutritional profile of quinoa seeds we analyzed three quinoa cultivars (Salcedo-INIA, Titicaca and Regalona) at different locations (Spain, Peru and Chile). The results revealed that several nutritional parameters such as the amino acid profile, the protein content, the mineral composition and the phytate amount in the seeds depend on the location and cultivar while other parameters such as saponin or fiber were more stable across locations. Our results support the notion that nutritional characteristics of seeds may be determined by seed's origin and further analysis are needed to define the exact mechanisms that control the changes in the seeds nutritional properties.
Palabras claves: Agroecological conditions; Nutritional properties; Quinoa; Seed
Scales of predator detection behavior and escape in Fissurella limbata: A field and laboratory assessment
Manzur, T., Gonzalez-Mendez, A. and Broitman, B.
The consumptive effects of predators are widely acknowledged, but predation can also impact prey populations through non‐consumptive effects (NCEs) such as costly antipredator behavioral responses. The magnitude of antipredator behavioral responses by prey is determined by an assessment of risk using sensory cues, which in turn is modulated by the environmental context. We studied the detection behavior and escape response of the keyhole limpet Fissurella limbata from the predatory sea star Heliaster helianthus. Through laboratory and field experimental trials, we quantified the distance and time of predator detection behavior by the prey, and measured their active escape responses when elicited. We found that predator detection by the limpet was chiefly mediated by distance, with experimental individuals capable of detecting predator presence effectively up to distances of at least 50 cm in the field and 70 cm under laboratory conditions. Our results indicate that this prey species is able to evaluate the proximity of its predator and use it as an indication of predation risk; therefore, predator–prey distance appears to be a primary predictor of the magnitude of the antipredator response. Given the tight relationship between predator distance and prey movement and the important role herbivores can play, particularly in this ecosystem, we expect that NCEs will cascade to the patterns of abundance and composition of rocky shore communities through changes in prey foraging behavior under risk.
Palabras claves: antipredator behavior, escape, non‐consumptive effects, predator detection behavior, predator–prey interactions, rocky inter‐tidal, spatial scale
Low prevalence of microplastic contamination in planktivorous fish species from southeast Pacific Ocean
Ory, N., Chagnon, C., Felix, F., Fernández, C., Ferreira, J., Gallardo, C., Garcés Ordóñez, O., Henostroza, A., Laaz, E., Mizraji, R., Mojica, H., Murillo Haro, V., Ossa Medina, L., Preciado, M., Sobral, P., Urbina, M. and Thiel, M.
The gut contents of 292 planktivorous fish, from four families (Atherinopsidae, Clupeidae, Engraulidae and Scombridae) and seven species, captured along the coast of the southeast Pacific, were examined for microplastic contamination. Only a small fraction of all studied fish (2.1%; 6 individuals) contained microplastic particles in their digestive tract. Microplastics found were degraded hard fragments and threads, ranging from 1.1 to 4.9 (3.8 ± SD 2.4) mm in length, and of various colours, which suggests that the planktivorous fish species examined herein did not capture microplastics on the basis of their colour. The low prevalence of microplastic contamination in planktivorous fishes found in this study suggests that the risk of accidental ingestion by these species might be limited in the coastal upwelled waters of the southeast Pacific, perhaps due to small human population and highly dynamic oceanographic processes.
Palabras claves: Microplastic contamination, Planktivorous fish, Southeast Pacific Ocean, Upwelling systems, Humboldt Current System