Chapter 29 – Chile: Environmental Status and Future Perspectives
Aguilera, M., Aburto, J., Bravo, L., Broitman, B., García, R., & Gaymer, C., Gelcich, S., López, B.A., Montecino, V., Pauchard, A., Ramos, M., Rutllant, J.A., Sáez, C.A., Valdivia, N., Thiel, M.
The coast of mainland Chile extends from 18°S to about 56°S, and is about 4200 km long. In the north, the coast is characterized by continuous, regular, and wave-exposed shores, while to south of 40°S it is highly fragmented, with extensive fjords and small archipelagos with many wave-protected zones. The Humboldt Current System (HCS) determines oceanographic and ecological processes in the northern part, with persistent upwelling fronts and episodic “El Niño” events. In the southern part the southward-flowing Magellan Current is important. Coastal upwelling along the HCS sustains a diverse pelagic and benthic food web structure. Rocky coastal habitats are dominated by large kelp forests and filter-feeding species like reef-forming mussels and tunicates.
The main coastal habitats along the coast of Chile are rocky shores, sandy beaches, coastal wetlands, and dunes. The main populated zones are concentrated between 33°S to 35°S in central Chile, with economically important trading ports. Sewage discharges from large cities have the potential to increase nutrients levels in nearshore habitats causing localized eutrophication. Mining activities in northern Chile contaminate coastal waters, while in the south intensive aquaculture affects the fjord ecosystem. Also, subsistence harvesting (of kelps, molluscs, fish) is dramatically reducing the abundance of top consumers or habitat-forming species.
The diverse and productive coastal marine ecosystems are used by different socioeconomic activities and exposed to interventions which are potentially harmful. Ecosystem services should be managed, and necessary interventions carefully planned. Achieving sustainable use of natural marine resources and coastal ecosystem integrity is challenging, and a basic understanding of ecosystem responses to direct human impacts and global climate change require better monitoring strategies. The establishment of a marine reserve “Humboldt Current System” would be a major step toward this goal.
Palabras claves: Continental Chile, Climate, Coastal Ecology, Human interventions, Humboldt Current System, Oceanography, Southeastern Pacific.
Referencia APA: Aguilera, M., Aburto, J., Bravo, L., Broitman, B., García, R., & Gaymer, C., Gelcich, S., López, B.A., Montecino, V., Pauchard, A., Ramos, M., Rutllant, J.A., Sáez, C.A., Valdivia, N., Thiel, M. (2019). Chile: Environmental Status and Future Perspectives. World Seas: An Environmental Evaluation, 673-702. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-805068-2.00046-2
Microplastic: What Are the Solutions?
Eriksen, M., Thiel, M., Prindiville, M., & Kiessling, T.
The plastic that pollutes our waterways and the ocean gyres is a symptom of upstream material mismanagement, resulting in its ubiquity throughout the biosphere in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. While environmental contamination is widespread, there are several reasonable intervention points present as the material flows through society and the environment, from initial production to deep-sea microplastic sedimentation. Plastic passes through the hands of many stakeholders, with responsibility for environmental contamination owned, shared, or rejected by plastic producers, product/packaging manufacturers, government, consumers, and waste handlers.
The contemporary debate about solutions, in a broad sense, largely contrasts the circular economy with the current linear economic model. While there is a wide agreement that improved waste recovery is essential, how that waste is managed is a different story. The subjective positions of stakeholders illuminate their economic philosophy, whether it is to maintain demand for new plastic by incinerating postconsumer material or maintain material efficacy through recycling, regulated design, and producer responsibility; many proposed solutions fall under linear or circular economic models. Recent efforts to bring often unheard stakeholders to the table, including waste pickers in developing countries, have shed new light on the life cycle of plastic in a social justice context, in response to the growing economic and human health concerns.
In this chapter we discuss the main solutions, stakeholder costs, and benefits. We emphasize the role of the “honest broker” in science, to present the best analysis possible to create the most viable solutions to plastic pollution for public and private leadership to utilize.
Palabras claves: Extended producer responsibility, Marine debris solutions, Microplastic, Plastic marine pollution, Recycling, Reuse.
Referencia APA: Eriksen, M., Thiel, M., Prindiville, M., & Kiessling, T. (2017). Microplastic: What Are the Solutions?. The Handbook Of Environmental Chemistry, 273-298. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-61615-5_13
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.
Referencia APA: Krüger, I., Lenz, M. and Thiel, M. (2018). The colonial ascidian Diplosoma listerianum enhances the occurrence of the hydrozoan Obelia sp. during early phases of succession. Helgoland Marine Research, 72(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s10152-018-0506-6
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
Referencia APA: Petit, I., Campoy, A., Hevia, M., Gaymer, C. and Squeo, F. (2018). Protected areas in Chile: are we managing them?. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural, 91(1). dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40693-018-0071-z
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.
Referencia APA: Román, C., Ernst, B., Thiel, M., Manríquez, P. and Chamorro, J. (2018). Spatio-temporal migratory dynamics of Jasus frontalis (Milne Edwards, 1837) in Alexander Selkirk Island, Juan Fernández archipelago, Chile. PLOS ONE, 13(7), p.e0200146. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200146
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
Referencia APA: Barros, J., Winkler, F. and Velasco, L. (2018). Heritability, genetic correlations and genotype-environment interactions for growth and survival of larvae and post-larvae of the Caribbean scallop, Argopecten nucleus (Mollusca: Bivalvia). Aquaculture, 495, pp.948-954.
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.
Referencia APA: Rothäusler, E., Reinwald, H., López, B., Tala, F. and Thiel, M. (2018). High acclimation potential in floating Macrocystis pyrifera to abiotic conditions even under grazing pressure - a field study. Journal of Phycology, 54(3), pp.368-379.
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
Referencia APA: Véliz, K., Chandía, N., Karsten, U., Lara, C. and Thiel, M. (2018). Geographic variation in biochemical and physiological traits of the red seaweeds Chondracanthus chamissoi and Gelidium lingulatum from the south east Pacific coast. Journal of Applied Phycology, 31(1), pp.665-682. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10811-018-1532-0
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
Referencia APA: 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. (2018). Low prevalence of microplastic contamination in planktivorous fish species from the southeast Pacific Ocean. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 127, pp.211-216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.12.016
No reef-associated gradient in the infaunal communities of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) – Are oceanic waves more important than reef predators?
Gusmao, J., Lee, M., MacDonald, I., Ory, N., Sellanes, J., Watling, L. and Thiel, M.
Reef-associated predators are thought to influence the distribution of invertebrates of surrounding sediment habitats. In this study, we analyzed the predation pressure and the distributional patterns of macro- and meiofaunal assemblages in soft sediments surrounding two coral reef sites at Rapa Nui (Easter Island), in the central South Pacific. We tested the hypothesis that reef-associated predators negatively affect sediment-dwelling invertebrates, causing macro- and meiofauna to be less abundant and diverse in soft sediments near the reefs. As expected, predation intensity was greater nearer the reef than farther away, but macro- and meiofaunal assemblages did not differ significantly with distance from the reef. Taxon richness of macro- and meiofaunal assemblages were similar irrespective of distance from the reef. Only meiofauna showed significant variation in total abundance with distance from the reef, but this trend was not consistent between the two study sites. No gradient in sediment texture was observed with distance from the reef. Underwater video recordings at one study site also revealed that local hydrodynamics cause frequent disturbance and resuspension of the upper sediment layers. Our results suggest that soft-sediment assemblages are constantly reshuffled by oceanic waves, thereby blurring the potential effects of predation on invertebrate assemblages closer to the reef.
Palabras claves: Easter islandSoft-bottom assemblagesMacrofaunaMeiofaunaInfaunal halosReef fishesPredation
Referencia APA: Gusmao, J., Lee, M., MacDonald, I., Ory, N., Sellanes, J., Watling, L. and Thiel, M. (2018). No reef-associated gradient in the infaunal communities of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) – Are oceanic waves more important than reef predators?. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 210, pp.123-131. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2018.06.019
Spatio-temporal variation of anthropogenic marine debris on Chilean beaches
Hidalgo-Ruz, V., Honorato-Zimmer, D., Gatta-Rosemary, M., Nuñez, P., Hinojosa, I. and Thiel, M.
We examined the hypothesis that in an emerging economy such as Chile the abundances of Anthropogenic Marine Debris (AMD) on beaches are increasing over time. The citizen science program Científicos de la Basura (“Litter Scientists”) conducted three national surveys (2008, 2012 and 2016) to determine AMD composition, abundance, spatial patterns and temporal trends. AMD was found on all beaches along the entire Chilean coast. Highest percentages of AMD in all surveys were plastics and cigarette butts, which can be attributed to local sources (i.e. beach users). The Antofagasta region in northern Chile had the highest abundance of AMD compared with all other zones. Higher abundances of AMD were found at the upper stations from almost all zones. No significant tendency of increasing or decreasing AMD densities was observed during the 8 years covered by our study, which suggests that economic development alone cannot explain temporal trends in AMD densities.
Palabras claves: Anthropogenic marine debrisBeachesCitizen scienceTemporal trendsAntofagastaEconomic development
Referencia APA: Hidalgo-Ruz, V., Honorato-Zimmer, D., Gatta-Rosemary, M., Nuñez, P., Hinojosa, I. and Thiel, M. (2018). Spatio-temporal variation of anthropogenic marine debris on Chilean beaches. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 126, pp.516-524. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.11.014
Breeding of the south american tern (Sterna hirundinacea) on anchored boats in Coquimbo, northern Chile
Portflitt-Toro, M., Miranda-Urbina, D., Fernández, C., Luna, N., Plaza, P., Serratosa, J., Thiel, M., Luna-Jorquera, G.
Abstract · We report the breeding attempt of South American Terns (Sterna hirundinacea) on three boats in
Coquimbo, northern Chile. The first breeding attempt was reported in winter 2011 where at least one chick fledged. From April to June 2015, all nests on the boats were monitored. We recorded eggs and chicks during May and early June. However, towards the end of June, no eggs or chicks were recorded in the nests, and a Chimango Caracara (Phalcoboenus chimango) was observed preying on chicks in one nest. In April and May 2017, breeding attempts on boats were also monitored and nests with eggs and one chick were recorded. However, at the end of May all nests were empty. This unusual nesting site for South American Terns is apparently regularly used in the area despite its virtually null breeding success.
Resumen · Reproducción del Gaviotín Sudamericano (Sterna hirundinacea) en botes anclados en Coquimbo, norte de Chile
Reportamos el intento de reproducción del Gaviotín Sudamericano (Sterna hirundinacea) sobre tres botes en Coquimbo, norte de Chile. Un primer intento de reproducción para esta zona se registró en invierno de 2011, donde al menos un pollo dejó un nido como volantón. Entre Abril y Junio de 2015 monitoreamos los nidos en los botes de manera más intensiva. Registramos huevos y pollos durante Mayo y principios de Junio. Sin embargo, a finales de Junio, no registramos huevos en los nidos y observamos un Tiuque (Phalcoboenus chimango) depredar sobre los pollos. En Abril y Mayo de 2017, monitoreamos otros intentos de reproducción y registramos un pollo y nidos con huevos. Sin embargo, a finales de Mayo, esos nidos estaban vacíos. Este inusual sitio de nidificación parece ser utilizado de forma recurrente por el Gaviotín Sudamericano, a pesar del aparente casi nulo éxito reproductivo.
Palabras claves: Anchored boats, Chile, Nesting, Predation, South American Tern
Referencia APA: Portflitt-Toro, M., Miranda-Urbina, D., Fernández, C., Luna, N., Plaza, P., Serratosa, J., Thiel, M., Luna-Jorquera, G. (2018). Breeding of the south american tern (Sterna hirundinacea) on anchored boats in Coquimbo, northern Chile. Ornitología Neotropical 29: 187–191.