Seasonal variability of the Ekman transport and pumping in the upwelling system off central-northern Chile (∼ 30° S) based on a high-resolution atmospheric regional model (WRF).

Autores:

Bravo, L., Ramos, M., Astudillo, O., Dewitte, B., & Goubanova, K.

Resumen:

Two physical mechanisms can contribute to coastal upwelling in eastern boundary current systems: offshore Ekman transport due to the predominant alongshore wind stress and Ekman pumping due to the cyclonic wind stress curl, mainly caused by the abrupt decrease in wind stress (drop-off) in a cross-shore band of 100 km. This wind drop-off is thought to be an ubiquitous feature in coastal upwelling systems and to regulate the relative contribution of both mechanisms. It has been poorly studied along the central-northern Chile region because of the lack in wind measurements along the shoreline and of the relatively low resolution of the available atmospheric reanalysis. Here, the seasonal variability in Ekman transport, Ekman pumping and their relative contribution to total upwelling along the central-northern Chile region (∼  30° S) is evaluated from a high-resolution atmospheric model simulation. As a first step, the simulation is validated from satellite observations, which indicates a realistic representation of the spatial and temporal variability of the wind along the coast by the model. The model outputs are then used to document the fine-scale structures in the wind stress and wind curl in relation to the topographic features along the coast (headlands and embayments). Both wind stress and wind curl had a clear seasonal variability with annual and semiannual components. Alongshore wind stress maximum peak occurred in spring, second increase was in fall and minimum in winter. When a threshold of −3  ×  10−5 s−1 for the across-shore gradient of alongshore wind was considered to define the region from which the winds decrease toward the coast, the wind drop-off length scale varied between 8 and 45 km. The relative contribution of the coastal divergence and Ekman pumping to the vertical transport along the coast, considering the estimated wind drop-off length, indicated meridional alternation between both mechanisms, modulated by orography and the intricate coastline. Roughly, coastal divergence predominated in areas with low orography and headlands. Ekman pumping was higher in regions with high orography and the presence of embayments along the coast. In the study region, the vertical transport induced by coastal divergence and Ekman pumping represented 60 and 40 % of the total upwelling transport, respectively. The potential role of Ekman pumping on the spatial structure of sea surface temperature is also discussed.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves: Cryoconite hole connectivity on the Wright Lower Glacier, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.

Seasonal variability of the oxygen minimum zone off Peru in a high-resolution regional coupled model.

Autores:

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

Resumen:

In addition to being one of the most productive upwelling systems, the oceanic region off Peru is embedded in one of the most extensive oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) of the world ocean. The dynamics of the OMZ off Peru remain uncertain, partly due to the scarcity of data and to the ubiquitous role of mesoscale activity on the circulation and biogeochemistry. Here we use a high-resolution coupled physical/biogeochemical model simulation to investigate the seasonal variability of the OMZ off Peru. The focus is on characterizing the seasonal cycle in dissolved O2 (DO) eddy flux at the OMZ boundaries, including the coastal domain, viewed here as the eastern boundary of the OMZ, considering that the mean DO eddy flux in these zones has a significant contribution to the total DO flux. The results indicate that the seasonal variations of the OMZ can be interpreted as resulting from the seasonal modulation of the mesoscale activity. Along the coast, despite the increased seasonal low DO water upwelling, the DO peaks homogeneously over the water column and within the Peru Undercurrent (PUC) in austral winter, which results from mixing associated with the increase in both the intraseasonal wind variability and baroclinic instability of the PUC. The coastal ocean acts therefore as a source of DO in austral winter for the OMZ core, through eddy-induced offshore transport that is also shown to peak in austral winter. In the open ocean, the OMZ can be divided vertically into two zones: an upper zone above 400 m, where the mean DO eddy flux is larger on average than the mean seasonal DO flux and varies seasonally, and a lower part, where the mean seasonal DO flux exhibits vertical–zonal propagating features that share similar characteristics than those of the energy flux associated with the annual extratropical Rossby waves. At the OMZ meridional boundaries where the mean DO eddy flux is large, the DO eddy flux has also a marked seasonal cycle that peaks in austral winter (spring) at the northern (southern) boundary. In the model, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle is 70 % larger at the southern boundary than at the northern boundary. Our results suggest the existence of distinct seasonal regimes for the ventilation of the OMZ by eddies at its boundaries. Implications for understanding the OMZ variability at longer timescales are discussed.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves:

Biogeochemical characteristics of a long-lived anticyclonic eddy in the eastern South Pacific Ocean.

Autores:

Cornejo D'Ottone, M., Bravo, L., Ramos, M., Pizarro, O., Karstensen, J., Gallegos, M., Correa-Ramirez, M., Silva, N., Farias, L. & Karp-Boss, L.

Resumen:

Mesoscale eddies are important, frequent, and persistent features of the circulation in the eastern South Pacific (ESP) Ocean, transporting physical, chemical and biological properties from the productive shelves to the open ocean. Some of these eddies exhibit subsurface hypoxic or suboxic conditions and may serve as important hotspots for nitrogen loss, but little is known about oxygen consumption rates and nitrogen transformation processes associated with these eddies. In the austral fall of 2011, during the Tara Oceans expedition, an intrathermocline, anticyclonic, mesoscale eddy with a suboxic (< 2 µmol kg−1 of O2), subsurface layer (200–400 m) was detected  ∼  900 km off the Chilean shore (30° S, 81° W). The core of the eddy's suboxic layer had a temperature-salinity signature characteristic of Equatorial Subsurface Water (ESSW) that at this latitude is normally restricted to an area near the coast. Measurements of nitrogen species within the eddy revealed undersaturation (below 44 %) of nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitrite accumulation (> 0.5 µM), suggesting that active denitrification occurred in this water mass. Using satellite altimetry, we were able to track the eddy back to its region of formation on the coast of central Chile (36.1° S, 74.6° W). Field studies conducted in Chilean shelf waters close to the time of eddy formation provided estimates of initial O2 and N2O concentrations of the ESSW source water in the eddy. By the time of its offshore sighting, concentrations of both O2 and N2O in the subsurface oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) of the eddy were lower than concentrations in surrounding water and “source water” on the shelf, indicating that these chemical species were consumed as the eddy moved offshore. Estimates of apparent oxygen utilization rates at the OMZ of the eddy ranged from 0.29 to 44 nmol L−1 d−1 and the rate of N2O consumption was 3.92 nmol L−1 d−1. These results show that mesoscale eddies affect open-ocean biogeochemistry in the ESP not only by transporting physical and chemical properties from the coast to the ocean interior but also during advection, local biological consumption of oxygen within an eddy further generates conditions favorable to denitrification and loss of fixed nitrogen from the system.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves:

Microbial Activity Response to Solar Radiation across Contrasting Environmental Conditions in Salar de Huasco, Northern Chilean Altiplano.

Autores:

Hernández, K. L., Yannicelli, B., Olsen, L. M., Dorador, C., Menschel, E. J., Molina, V., Remonsellez, F., Hengst, M. B. & Jeffrey, W. H.

Resumen:

In high altitude environments, extreme levels of solar radiation and important differences of ionic concentrations over narrow spatial scales may modulate microbial activity. In Salar de Huasco, a high-altitude wetland in the Andean mountains, the high diversity of microbial communities has been characterized and associated with strong environmental variability. Communities that differed in light history and environmental conditions, such as nutrient concentrations and salinity from different spatial locations, were assessed for bacterial secondary production (BSP, 3H-leucine incorporation) response from short-term exposures to solar radiation. We sampled during austral spring seven stations categorized as: (a) source stations, with recently emerged groundwater (no-previous solar exposure); (b) stream running water stations; (c) stations connected to source waters but far downstream from source points; and (d) isolated ponds disconnected from ground sources or streams with a longer isolation and solar exposure history. Very high values of 0.25 μE m-2 s-1, 72 W m-2 and 12 W m-2 were measured for PAR, UVA, and UVB incident solar radiation, respectively. The environmental factors measured formed two groups of stations reflected by principal component analyses (near to groundwater sources and isolated systems) where isolated ponds had the highest BSP and microbial abundance (35 microalgae taxa, picoeukaryotes, nanoflagellates, and bacteria) plus higher salinities and PO43- concentrations. BSP short-term response (4 h) to solar radiation was measured by 3H-leucine incorporation under four different solar conditions: full sun, no UVB, PAR, and dark. Microbial communities established in waters with the longest surface exposure (e.g., isolated ponds) had the lowest BSP response to solar radiation treatments, and thus were likely best adapted to solar radiation exposure contrary to ground source waters. These results support our light history (solar exposure) hypothesis where the more isolated the community is from ground water sources, the better adapted it is to solar radiation. We suggest that factors other than solar radiation (e.g., salinity, PO43-, NO3-) are also important in determining microbial productivity in heterogeneous environments such as the Salar de Huasco.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves:

A diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids improves the capacity for HSP70 synthesis in adult scallop Argopecten purpuratus and their offspring.

Autores:

Pérez, H. M., Brokordt, K., Gallardo, A., Vidal, I., & Guderley, H

Resumen:

In scallops, aerobic power requirements of gonad maturation reduce HSP70 synthesis capacity in response to thermal or hypoxia stress. As dietary lipid quality is crucial for membrane function, we predicted that supplementing Argopecten purpuratus broodstock with essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) during gonadal maturation would mitigate the loss in adult performance while favoring that of larvae. Scallops were fed during reproductive conditioning with microalgal diets with high and low PUFA contents, while a control group was maintained in natural conditions. After maturation, scallops of each treatment were kept at normal temperature (18 °C) or stressed by increasing the temperature (+6 °C). Mature scallops fed each diet were stimulated to spawn, and the ensuing larvae were exposed to handling and thermal stress. Relative transcription of hsp70 mRNA was assessed by RT-qPCR, and HSP70 proteins were quantified by ELISA. Feeding a high-PUFA diet during reproductive conditioning enhanced HSP70 induction (at transcription and protein levels) by mature A. purpuratus in response to thermal stress. By contrast, neither scallops matured in the natural environment nor those fed the low-PUFA diet increased HSP70 levels after thermal stress; hsp70 mRNA levels were also reduced. Offspring from broodstock fed a high-PUFA diet increased induction of HSP70 after exposure to handling and handling plus thermal stress relative to offspring of scallops fed a low-PUFA diet. Survival of these larvae was also enhanced. Feeding adult scallops with appropriate PUFA during reproductive conditioning could improve adult stress responses and favor stress responses and survival of ensuing larvae.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves:

Spore dispersal in the intertidal kelp Lessonia spicata: macrochallenges for the harvested Lessonia species complex at microscales of space and time.

Autores:

Parada, G. M., Tellier, F., & Martínez, E. A.

Resumen:

The intertidal coast of Chile has two cryptic kelp species, Lessonia spicata and L. berteroana, which share closely situated, but not overlapping, high-energy habitats. Their populations recover slowly after major disturbances and massive mortalities, suggesting that dispersal from remnant populations is strongly limited. This low dispersal is also a factor that probably favours the speciation process. Understanding the limiting factors for spore dispersal is crucial. Here we evaluated 1. spore dispersal and spore dilution over distance, 2. if submersion in calm waters for a specific period of time is needed for the settlement of spores before exposure to water movement, and 3. duration of spore attachment ability. Results were consistent with the hypothesis of low-distance dispersal of spores: stained-spore dilution was high at short spatial scales (<4 m); spores settled quickly (1–2 min) even under constant water movement, but they lost the ability to attach rapidly (≤16 h). Water motion did not affect spore attachment to the substratum, a fact probably resulting from an adaptation to high energy intertidal habitats. The very low dispersal range of the spores may explain the strong genetic differentiation at small spatial scales, the speciation event that occurred within the Lessonia species complex and the slow recovery of L. berteroana after massive mortalities occurring with the 1982/1983 El Niño Southern oscillation event.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves: Laminariales; seaweeds; settlement; spore attachment.

Chemical and isotopic assessment of surface water–shallow groundwater interaction in the arid Grande river basin, North-Central Chile.

Autores:

Oyarzún, R., Zambra, S., Maturana, H., Oyarzún, J., Aguirre, E., & Kretschmer, N.

Resumen:

This paper analyses the composition of surface water and shallow groundwater in the Grande River basin, North-Central Chile, using this information to characterize water interactions. Chemical and isotopic data for surface water and groundwater (7 and 6 sampling locations, respectively) were obtained from three sampling campaigns performed in March–April (autumn), August–September (late winter) and December (early summer) 2012. Precipitation samples were also collected. Data was processed using spatial distribution charts, Piper and Stiff diagrams, and multivariate analysis. In general, the results for each method converge on a high degree of connectivity between surface water and shallow groundwater in the study area. Furthermore, approximately a 10% of groundwater contribution to the surface flow discharge was estimated for a particular reach. This multi-method approach was useful for the characterization of surface water–groundwater interactions in the Grande River basin, and may become a suitable and replicable scheme for studies in arid and semi-arid basins facing similar water management challenges.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves: integrated water management, isotope tracers, over-allocated basin.

Co‐operation between large‐scale MPAs: successful experiences from the Pacific Ocean.

Autores:

Friedlander, A. M., Wagner, D., Gaymer, C. F., Wilhelm, T. A., Lewis, N. A., Brooke, S., Kikiloi, K. & Varmer, O.

Resumen:

Nations have recently committed to protecting 20–30% of the ocean at various global summits; however, marine protected areas currently cover <3% of the ocean. Large-scale marine protected areas (LSMPAs, >100 000 km2) are a new concept in global marine conservation that offer real hope in achieving global conservation targets.
Many of the existing LSMPAs are remote islands in the Pacific that share common natural history, threats, culture, as well as scientific and management needs.
As a result of their common ancestry, many Pacific cultures have a long history of collaboration, including sharing resources, information and expertise to ensure the long-term sustainability of their resources.
Management, governance and research capacity limitations are magnified in LSMPAs, therefore highlighting the need to return to these prior forms of collaboration to achieve conservation objectives.
Several LSMPAs in the Pacific have collaborated to achieve their management and scientific goals, including documented collaborations among the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, the Motu Motiru Hiva Marine Park, the Natural Park of the Coral Sea, and the Cook Islands Marine Park.
Collaborations among LSMPAs in the Pacific include bilateral agreements, learning exchanges, as well as research, monitoring and enforcement activities. By working together, Pacific LSMPAs have been able to overcome some of the management and scientific challenges associated with conserving vast areas of the oceans.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves:

Water deficit stress-induced changes in carbon and nitrogen partitioning in Chenopodium quinoa Willd.

Autores:

Bascuñán-Godoy, L., Reguera, M., Abdel-Tawab, Y., & Blumwald, E.

Resumen:

Water deficit stress followed by re-watering during grain filling resulted in the induction of the ornithine pathway and in changes in Quinoa grain quality.

The genetic diversity of Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (Quinoa) is accompanied by an outstanding environmental adaptability and high nutritional properties of the grains. However, little is known about the biochemical and physiological mechanisms associated with the abiotic stress tolerance of Quinoa. Here, we characterized carbon and nitrogen metabolic changes in Quinoa leaves and grains in response to water deficit stress analyzing their impact on the grain quality of two lowland ecotypes (Faro and BO78). Differences in the stress recovery response were found between genotypes including changes in the activity of nitrogen assimilation-associated enzymes that resulted in differences in grain quality. Both genotypes showed a common strategy to overcome water stress including the stress-induced synthesis of reactive oxygen species scavengers and osmolytes. Particularly, water deficit stress induced the stimulation of the ornithine and raffinose pathways. Our results would suggest that the regulation of C- and N partitioning in Quinoa during grain filling could be used for the improvement of the grain quality without altering grain yields.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves: C and N partitioning, Grain nutritional quality, Ornithine pathway, Quinoa, ROS scavengers, Stress recovery, Source and sink interactions, Water deficit stress.

Where does the water go? Understanding geohydrological behaviour of Andean catchments in south-central Chile.

Autores:

Arumí, J., Maureira, H., Souvignet, M., Pérez, C., Rivera, D., & Oyarzún, R.

Resumen:

Upper Diguillín and Renegado are two neighbouring Andean basins of south-central Chile, with different specific discharges that cannot be explained solely by their difference in size. To address this issue, this study considers three separate but complementary approaches: (a) long-term analysis of rainfall and flow trends; (b) determination of hydrogeological properties at the watershed scale; and (c) analysis of the temporal evolution of groundwater storage. First, a trend test detected a statistically significant discharge decrease for Renegado in summer, unrelated to a coincidental precipitation trend, which seems to be associated with an increased use of water in that season related to tourism activity in the area. Second, there were no important differences in hydraulic conductivity or drainable porosity between the two study areas. However, it was found that there is a long-term negative trend in groundwater storage for Renegado; that is, water that contributes to the lower Diguillín streamflow through numerous springs.

Año: 2016

Palabras claves: Basin-scale hydrology, Brutsaert analysis, trend analysis, baseflow.