Spatial and short-term variability of larval, post-larval and macrobenthic assemblages associated with subtidal kelp forest ecosystems in Central Chile

Autores:

Carrasco, S. A., Vandecasteele, L., Rivadeneira, M. M., Fernández, M., & Pérez-Matus, A.

Resumen:

Identifying patterns of spatial and temporal variability in the composition of communities associated with kelp forests is critical to understand the functioning of this productive, yet vulnerable ecosystem. We used a suite of sampling methods (light attraction and airlift devices) to evaluate the variability of larval, post-larval and macrobenthic assemblages associated with kelp forests (Lessonia trabeculata) in Central Chile (30° to 33°S). Pelagic collections identified two assemblages: early-life stages and emerging macrobenthos, with the later contributing three quarters to the total abundance regardless of the source of illumination (permanent or flashing). Field experiments showed that moon phases affected the structure and composition of the samples. Surveys carried out during new moon showed the highest abundances and taxonomic richness of emergent assemblages. However, species composition varied in both assemblages depending on the moon phase. Although the pelagic assemblages collected at sites with contrasting upwelling intensity did not show differences in community structure, differences in composition were evident for early-life stages. The relationship between pelagic and benthic collections indicated that four decapod crustaceans were represented at both larval and early juvenile stages; however, only the high abundances and densities of Paraxanthus barbiger allowed for estimations of benthic-pelagic coupling. For this species, larval abundances and benthic juvenile densities demonstrated contrasting local and regional patterns, suggesting a decoupling between pelagic and benthic environments. These findings highlight the differential variability in smaller components of kelp forests, but also suggest that post-settlement processes may be driving biological interactions through these highly productive and complex environments.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Larval supply, Emerging macrobenthos, Invertebrate, Fish, Recruitment, Upwelling

Context‐dependent functional dispersion across similar ranges of trait space covered by intertidal rocky shore communities

Autores:

Valdivia, N., Segovia‐Rivera, V., Fica, E., Bonta, C. C., Aguilera, M. A., & Broitman, B. R.

Resumen:

Functional diversity is intimately linked with community assembly processes, but its large‐scale patterns of variation are often not well understood. Here, we investigated the spatiotemporal changes in multiple trait dimensions (“trait space”) along vertical intertidal environmental stress gradients and across a landscape scale. We predicted that the range of the trait space covered by local assemblages (i.e., functional richness) and the dispersion in trait abundances (i.e., functional dispersion) should increase from high‐ to low‐intertidal elevations, due to the decreasing influence of environmental filtering. The abundance of macrobenthic algae and invertebrates was estimated at four rocky shores spanning ca. 200 km of the coast over a 36‐month period. Functional richness and dispersion were contrasted against matrix‐swap models to remove any confounding effect of species richness on functional diversity. Random‐slope models showed that functional richness and dispersion significantly increased from high‐ to low‐intertidal heights, demonstrating that under harsh environmental conditions, the assemblages comprised similar abundances of functionally similar species (i.e., trait convergence), while that under milder conditions, the assemblages encompassed differing abundances of functionally dissimilar species (i.e., trait divergence). According to the Akaike information criteria, the relationship between local environmental stress and functional richness was persistent across sites and sampling times, while functional dispersion varied significantly. Environmental filtering therefore has persistent effects on the range of trait space covered by these assemblages, but context‐dependent effects on the abundances of trait combinations within such range. Our results further suggest that natural and/or anthropogenic factors might have significant effects on the relative abundance of functional traits, despite that no trait addition or extinction is detected.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Community assembly, Desiccation, Environmental filtering, Functional beta‐diversity, Functional traits, Marine, Mesoscale, Seasonal

Plasticity and inter-population variability in physiological and life-history traits of the mussel Mytilus chilensis: A reciprocal transplant experiment

Autores:

Osores, S. J., Lagos, N. A., San Martin, V., Manriquez, P. H., Vargas, C. A., Torres, R., Navarro, J.M., Poupin, M.J., Saldías, G., & Lardies, M. A.

Resumen:

Geographically widespread species must cope with environmental differences between habitats. Information concerning geographic variations in response to climate variability is critical because many morphological, life-history and physiological traits show variation across space. Reciprocal transplant experiments have shown to be relevant to evaluate the role of phenotypic plasticity and potential local adaptation in ecophysiological responses when coping with environmental variability. In this study, we characterize through reciprocal transplant experiments the reaction norms of morphological, biochemical, physiological and life-history traits between two intertidal populations of the socioeconomically important mussel Mytilus chilensis, inhabiting contrasting local environments (estuarine vs coastal habitats). We found a gradient in phenotypic plasticity with plastic trait responses in metabolic, ingestion and clearance rates, and in HsP70 gene expression, and some traits with responses more canalized as growth and calcification rates. This emphasizes that responses not only vary across different local populations but also in different traits in M. chilensis, thus it is difficult to establish an overall trend of the responses at integrated organismal level. Moreover, the synergistic interaction of factors such as salinity and carbonate system parameters evaluated make it necessary to study the response at the population level with emphasis on benthic species important in aquaculture. Finally, field studies such as this one are useful for documenting the patterns of traits variation that occur in nature, identifying possible causes of such variation, and generating testable hypotheses for future controlled experiments.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Salinity, Ocean acidification, Estuaries, Heat shock protein, Ingestion rate, Metabolism, Calcification, Aquaculture

Genotype by environment interactions, heritabilities and genetic correlations for productive traits of Haliotis rufescens

Autores:

Farías, W. J., Winkler, F. M., & Brokordt, K. B.

Resumen:

A critical aspect of a selective breeding program is whether responses of traits of interest are similar in different environments. The magnitude of the genotype by environment interaction (GEI) together with heritability (h2) accounts for this aspect. Despite the economic significance of abalones and the interest in genetic improvement programs for their cultivation, only one previous study has reported GEI estimations for this group of mollusks. The objective of the present study was to estimate h2 and the existence of GEI for growth traits of Haliotis rufescens cultivated in Chilean farms with different environmental and management conditions. A total of 2 cohorts (2007 and 2009) of 50 and 42 families of full sibs (FS), respectively, were used. Replicates of each FS family of the 2007 cohort were distributed in two farms in the northern region of the country and were evaluated after 1 and 2 years of cultivation. For the 2009 cohort, replicates of each family were distributed in a farm in the northern region and a farm in the southern region of the country. The estimated h2 values were significant for all traits, with the length and width of the shell and total weight varying primarily by cohort between 0.22–0.62, 0.16–0.58 and 0.40–0.53, respectively. The genetic correlations (rG) between traits were all higher than 0.82. The expected correlated responses for improving the total weight using the shell length as a selection criterion predict a selection gain (14–51%) similar to what would be obtained by selecting directly for weight (16–51%) in all environments examined. Thus, indirect selection by shell length and the direct use of total weight as a selection criterion would yield similar effects in terms of the increase in weight. High rG, not significantly different from 1, were observed for the analyzed traits between replicates of the families in any of the farms compared, both within the northern region and between the northern and southern regions of the country. These high rG were indicative of non-significant GEI for the analyzed traits. Therefore, results suggest that one selective breeding program could provide improved red abalone for the industry in Chile with consistent results between farms located in different environments.

Statement of relevance

Abalones are one of the most important mollusks in aquaculture due to their commercial value in international markets, especially in Asia; as such there are several efforts to develop abalone breeding programs in different countries. In this work we addressed a critical aspect for a selective breeding program, which is to know whether responses of productive traits are similar in different environments. Considering that the magnitude of the genotype by environment interaction (GEI) together with heritability (h2) accounts for this aspect, we estimated these genetic quantitative parameters for growth traits (total mass, shell length and width) in two cohorts of the red abalone, Haliotis rufescens, cultivated throughout Chile. Results indicated that the application of selection by the shell length at age of harvest has the greatest potential for improving the production of H. rufescens. These improvements are practical (ease and accuracy in measurement), have indirect effects on the objective trait of selection (weight), and consist of a trait that is not significantly affected by genotype-environment interactions. In addition, the results obtained suggest that a single selective breeding program would be sufficient for the red abalone industry in Chile, as the response to selection of traits associated with growth would be similar in different environments. Red abalone is naturally distributed in California and Baja California coasts, and this information can be especially useful in planning breeding programs also in the west coast of USA and México.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Abalone, Aquaculture, Breeding, Heritability, Genetic correlation, Genotype by environment interaction

Rootstock effect on irrigated grapevine yield under arid climate conditions are explained by changes in traits related to light absorption of the scion

Autores:

Bascuñán-Godoy, L., Franck, N., Zamorano, D., Sanhueza, C., Carvajal, D. E., & Ibacache, A.

Resumen:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanisms underlying the effect of rootstocks on table grapevines grown under irrigated conditions in the arid North macro-zone of Chile.

Grapevine cv. Red Globe grafted onto three rootstocks (Harmony, Saint George and Salt Creek) were studied Structural and physiological parameters were monitored at different phenological stages under optimal production conditions.

An outstanding yield increment brought about by the rootstocks Harmony and Salt Creek was correlated with increased individual leaf and specific leaf area, pruning weight (proxy for total leaf area), photosynthesis per unit leaf mass, sugar in leaves and root carbon reserves. In addition, these high yielding rootstocks induced higher contents of light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein of photosystem II and total chlorophyll in the leaves of the scion. No correlations of yield with traits involved in water use (relative water content or instantaneous water use efficiency) were observed.

The effects of rootstocks on the light capture capacity of the scion directly affected carbon assimilation and storage and, accordingly, yield. Therefore, the identified traits are valuable targets for screening and selecting yield efficient rootstocks for irrigated table grape production in arid zones.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Grapevine rootstock, Light capture, Photosynthesis, Pruning weight, Red Globe, Yield

Meteorological interpretation of orographic precipitation gradients along an Andes west slope basin at 30° S (Elqui Valley, Chile)

Autores:

Scaff, L., Rutllant, J. A., Rahn, D., Gascoin, S., & Rondanelli, R.

Resumen:

To better forecast streamflow and water resource availability, it is important to have an understanding of the meteorological drivers of the orographic precipitation gradient (OPG), especially critical in semiarid mountainous areas. Although forced ascent over topography typically results in precipitation increasing with altitude (positive OPGs), mean annual OPGs and especially OPGs associated with individual storms can change widely in magnitude and even sign. Precipitation measurements from the Elqui Valley in the semiarid Andes of Chile (30°S) reveal a mean annual OPG of 6.3 mm km−1 (millimeters of precipitation over kilometers in elevation) ranging from −42 to 52 mm km−1 for individual storms over the last 35 years (1979–2013). Reanalysis data and precipitation measurements are used to characterize the observed OPG in this region in relation with their synoptic-scale flow. It is found that the Froude number correlates positively with the OPG, reflecting stronger zonal winds and less static stability during storms that have positive OPGs. Altitude of the Andes barrier jet shows only a weak relationship with the OPG. Significant storms with positive OPGs are typically linked with an austral blocking of the westerlies and an equatorward migration of the midlatitude storm track. For negative OPGs, either a cutoff low or the northern edge of a surface migratory cyclone reaches the Elqui Valley in such a way that significant rainfall only occurs in the near-coastal region without major snowfall accumulation over the Andes.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Cutoff lows, Orographic effects, Synoptic climatology, Cold fronts, Precipitation, Valley/mountain flows

First assessment of MODIS satellite ocean color products (OC3 and nFLH) in the inner Sea of Chiloé, northern Patagonia

Autores:

Lara, C., Saldías, G. S., Westberry, T. K., Behrenfeld, M. J., & Broitman, B. R.

Resumen:

The use of remote sensing has allowed enormous progress in our understanding of biophysical processes worldwide. Despite their importance, the use of satellite bio-optical products is still limited due to optical complexity. In this study we assess the performance of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer algorithm for chlorophyll-a (MODIS-OC3) and of normalized Fluorescence Line Height (nFLH), in inner waters of northern Chilean Patagonia (41°-45ºS). Satellite data were evaluated using a compilation of in situ chlorophyll-a data collected by the CIMAR-FIORDOS program during 2003-2012.

During austral spring MODIS-OC3 showed a significant relationship with in situ measurements (R2 = 0.2, P = 0.03, F = 5.33) in comparison with winter when the relationship was non-significant. In contrast, nFLH explained a significant fraction of observed variance of Chl-a during austral winter (R2 = 0.54, P = <0.01, F = 10.68) and this relationship was not significant in spring. Our preliminary results offer an excellent chance to understand patterns of variability of the autotrophic biomass and physiological status in optically complex interior marine ecosystems.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Satellite validation, MODIS, fluorescence, chlorophyll-a, optical complex, northern Patagonia

Seasonal variation in epifaunal communities associated with giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) at an upwelling‐dominated site

Autores:

Winkler, N. S., Pérez‐Matus, A., Villena, Á. A., & Thiel, M.

Resumen:

Kelp forests are highly productive and species‐rich benthic ecosystems in temperate regions that provide biogenic habitat for numerous associated species. Diverse epifaunal communities inhabit kelp sporophytes and are subject to variations in the physical environment and to changes experienced by the kelp habitat itself. We assessed seasonal variations in epifaunal invertebrate communities inhabiting giant kelps, Macrocystis pyrifera, and their effects on this seaweed. Six seasonal samplings were conducted over a year at an upwelling‐dominated site in northern‐central Chile where physical conditions are known to fluctuate temporally. More than 30 taxa were identified, among which peracarid crustaceans stood out in both diversity and abundance. Species richness and abundance differed among sporophyte sections (holdfast and fronds) and throughout the year. The frond community was dominated by two grazers (the amphipod Peramphithoe femorata and the isopod Amphoroidea typa), while suspension feeders, grazers, and omnivores (the amphipod Aora typica, the isopod Limnoria quadripunctata, and polychaetes) dominated the holdfasts. Abundances of the dominant species fluctuated throughout the year but patterns of variation differed among species. The most abundant grazer (P. femorata) had highest densities in summer, while the less abundant grazer (A. typa) reached its peak densities in winter. Interestingly, the area of kelp damaged by grazers was highest in autumn and early winter, suggesting that grazing impacts accumulate during periods of low kelp growth, which can thus be considered as ‘vestiges of herbivory past.’ Among the factors determining the observed seasonal patterns, strong variability of environmental conditions, reproductive cycles of associated fauna, and predation by fishes vary in importance. Our results suggest that during spring and early summer, bottom‐up processes shape the community structure of organisms inhabiting large perennial seaweeds, whereas during late summer and autumn, top‐down processes are more important.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Associated epifauna, Kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, Seasonal fluctuations, Temperate regions

Continuities and discontinuities in the socio-environmental systems of the Atacama Desert during the last 13,000 years

Autores:

Santoro, C. M., Capriles, J. M., Gayo, E. M., de Porras, M. E., Maldonado, A., Standen, V. G., Latorre, C., Castro, V., Angelo, D., McRostie, V., Uribe, M., Valenzuela, D., Ugalde, P. C., & Marquet, P. A.

Resumen:

Understanding how human societies interacted with environmental changes is a major goal of archaeology and other socio-natural sciences. In this paper, we assess the human-environment interactions in the Pampa del Tamarugal (PDT) basin of the Atacama Desert over the last 13,000 years. By relying on a socio-environmental model that integrates ecosystem services with adaptive strategies, we review past climate changes, shifting environmental conditions, and the continuities and discontinuities in the nature and intensity of the human occupation of the PDT. As a result we highlight the importance of certain key resources such as water, an essential factor in the long-term trajectory of eco-historical change. Without water the outcome of human societies becomes hazardous.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Atacama Desert, Pampa del Tamarugal, Climate change, Continuities and discontinuities, Human-environment interaction, Hyperarid environments, Water

A 7000‐year high‐resolution lake sediment record from coastal central Chile (Lago Vichuquén, 34° S): implications for past sea level and environmental variability

Autores:

Frugone‐Álvarez, M., Latorre, C., Giralt, S., Polanco‐Martínez, J., Bernárdez, P., Oliva‐Urcia, B., Maldonado, A., Carrevedo, M.L., Moreno, A., Delgado-Huertas, A., Prego, R., Barreiro-Lostres, F., & Valero-Garcés, B.

Resumen:

We present a 7‐ka environmental reconstruction based on sedimentological and geochemical data from Lago Vichuquén, a coastal eutrophic lake in central Chile (34°48′S, 72°03′ W, 4 m a.s.l.). A relatively shallow and restricted marine environment with low productivity, high detrital input and dominant anoxic conditions in the Vichuquén Basin occurred from 7.0 to 6.5 cal ka BP. Rapid onset of a Holocene marine transgression at 6.5 cal ka BP favoured deeper and more biologically productive environments that existed until 2.8 cal ka BP. Bioproductivity changes during the mid‐Holocene (6.5–4.2 cal ka BP) were related to upwelling dynamics controlled by the intensity of the South‐east Pacific Anticyclone (SPA). Periods with lower organic productivity and dominant anoxic conditions reflect an increased intensity of SPA (increased upwelling) and decreased precipitation. A shift at ∼4.0 cal ka BP reflects the onset of modern Southern Westerly Winds and El Niño‐Southern Oscillation patterns. Tectonic uplifting and geormorphological activity (dune advancement) are possible reasons behind the Vichuquén Basin closure at ∼1.2 cal ka BP, leading to a low bioproductivity lacustrine environment which has developed until the present.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Climate change, Central Chile, Coastal upwelling, Holocene, Sea‐level change, Sedimentology