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Landscape connectivity among remnant populations of guanaco (Lama guanicoe Müller, 1776) in an arid region of Chile impacted by global change

Autores:

Espinosa, M., Gouin, N., Squeo, F., López, D., & Bertin, A.

Resumen:

Connectivity between populations plays a key role in the long-term persistence of species in fragmented habitats. This is of particular concern for biodiversity preservation in drylands, since water limited landscapes are typically characterized by little suitable habitat cover, high habitat fragmentation, harsh matrices, and are being rapidly degraded at a global scale. In this study, we modelled landscape connectivity between 11 guanaco Lama guanicoe populations in Chile’s arid Norte Chico, a region that supports the last remnant coastal populations of this emblematic herbivore indigenous to South America. We produced a habitat suitability model to derive a regional surface resistance map, and used circuit theory to map functional connectivity, investigate the relative isolation between populations, and identify those that contribute most to the patch connectivity network. Predicted suitable habitat for L. guanicoe represented about 25% of the study region (i.e., 29,173 km2) and was heterogeneously distributed along a continuous stretch along the Andes, and discontinuous patches along the coast. As a result, we found that high connectivity current flows in the mid and high Andes formed a wide, continuous connectivity corridor, enabling connectivity between all high Andean populations. Coastal populations, in contrast, were more isolated. These groups demonstrate no inter-population connectivity between themselves, only with higher altitude populations, and for two of them, animal movement was linked to the effectiveness of wildlife crossings along the Pan-American highway. Our results indicate that functional connectivity is an issue of concern for L. guanicoe in Chile’s Norte Chico, implying that future conservation and management plans should emphasize strategies aimed at conserving functional connectivity between coastal and Andean populations, as well as the protection of habitat patches likely to act as stepping stones within the connectivity network.

Año: 2018

Palabras claves:

Referencia APA: Espinosa, M., Gouin, N., Squeo, F., López, D., & Bertin, A. (2018). Landscape connectivity among remnant populations of guanaco (Lama guanicoe Müller, 1776) in an arid region of Chile impacted by global change. Peerj, 6, e4429. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4429

A hyper‐arid environment shapes an inverse pattern of the fast–slow plant economics spectrum for above‐, but not below‐ground resource acquisition strategies

Autores:

Carvajal, D., Loayza, A., Rios, R., Delpiano, C., & Squeo, F.

Resumen:

The fast–slow plant economics spectrum predicts that because of evolutionary and biophysical constraints, different plant organs must be coordinated to converge in a unique ecological strategy within a continuum that shifts from fast to slow resource acquisition and conservation. Therefore, along a gradient of aridity, taxa with different strategies will be expected to be successful because selection pressures for slow resource acquisition become stronger as the environment becomes drier. In extremely arid and seasonal environments, however, a slow strategy may become disadvantageous because slow traits are costly to maintain. Additionally, as the availability of water decreases, selection pressures increase, reducing the variation in ecological strategies.

Using shrub assemblages along an aridity gradient in the Atacama Desert, we test the hypothesis that selection pressures imposed by hyper‐aridity act simultaneously on the variation and coordination of trait attributes, leading to an inverse pattern in the fast–slow plant economics spectrum, where strategies shift from slow to fast as the environment becomes drier.

We established 20–22 plots at each of four sites along the gradient to estimate plant community structure and functional variation. For all species recorded, we quantified a set of leaf, stem, and root traits.
Results revealed an inverse pattern of the fast–slow economics spectrum for leaf and stem traits, but not for root traits; that is, as aridity further increased, above‐ground traits exhibited a shift from a slow to a fast strategy with some level of coordination. Below‐ground traits, however, did not shift accordingly with our prediction, rather they showed more complex pattern of shift and coordination with above‐ground traits along the gradient. We also found that trait variation showed an idiosyncratic pattern of variation along the gradient, indicating that ecological strategies are driven by local processes within sites.

Synthesis. Our results increase our understanding of the fast–slow plant economics spectrum by showing that environmental gradients, as well as local process can simultaneously shape different below‐ and above‐ground resource acquisition strategies in extremely poor resource environments.

Año: 2018

Palabras claves: Aridity gradient, Atacama Desert, Functional traits, Functional trait variation, Leaf root, Shrub communities, Stem.

Referencia APA: Carvajal, D., Loayza, A., Rios, R., Delpiano, C., & Squeo, F. (2018). A hyper‐arid environment shapes an inverse pattern of the fast–slow plant economics spectrum for above‐, but not below‐ground resource acquisition strategies. Journal Of Ecology, 107(3), 1079-1092. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.13092

Isolation and cross-amplification of the first set of polymorphic microsatellite markers of two high-Andean cushion plants

Autores:

Acuña-Rodríguez, I., Gouin, N., Cifuentes-Lisboa, L., & Squeo, F.

Resumen:

In the southern Andes mountains (27– 39∘S ) Azorella madreporica and Laretia acaulis, two Apiaceae cushion plant species commonly known as yaretas, conform a well-established altitudinal vegetation belt along the lower Andean zone. These species have been considered as fundamental components of several ecological dynamics within their communities; however, high-mountain ecosystems are increasingly threatened worldwide by natural and anthropogenic pressures and the southern Andes are not the exception. Recognizing that genetic information is crucial for the success of any conservation or restoration initiative in wild populations, we developed and cross-amplified 28 specifically designed microsatellite markers (14 in A. madreporica and 14 in L. acaulis), and also tested the cross amplification of 25 markers from the related species Azorella selago. In a region which is particularly vulnerable to global change trends, this new polymorphic microsatellite loci will be useful in the study of the genetic diversity of these high-mountain cushion plants, which are pivotal in the structuring of their native ecosystems.

Año: 2018

Palabras claves: Cushion plants, High-Andes, Microsatellite markers, Azorella madreporica, Laretia acaulis.

Referencia APA: Acuña-Rodríguez, I., Gouin, N., Cifuentes-Lisboa, L., & Squeo, F. (2018). Isolation and cross-amplification of the first set of polymorphic microsatellite markers of two high-Andean cushion plants. Journal Of Genetics, 97(S1), 95-100. doi: 10.1007/s12041-018-0999-4

Fuzzy-based assessment of groundwater intrinsic vulnerability of a volcanic aquifer in the Chilean Andean Valley

Autores:

Duhalde, D., Arumí, J., Oyarzún, R. and Rivera, D.

Resumen:

A fuzzy logic approach has been proposed to face the uncertainty caused by sparse data in the assessment of the intrinsic vulnerability of a groundwater system with parametric methods in Las Trancas Valley, Andean Mountain, south-central Chile, a popular touristic place in Chile, but lacking of a centralized drinking and sewage water public systems; this situation is a potentially source of groundwater pollution. Based on DRASTIC, GOD, and EKv and the expert knowledge of the study area, the Mamdani fuzzy approach was generated and the spatial data were processed by ArcGIS. The groundwater system exhibited areas with high, medium, and low intrinsic vulnerability indices. The fuzzy approach results were compared with traditional methods results, which, in general, have shown a good spatial agreement even though significant changes were also identified in the spatial distribution of the indices. The Mamdani logic approach has shown to be a useful and practical tool to assess the intrinsic vulnerability of an aquifer under sparse data conditions.

Año: 2018

Palabras claves: Aquifer vulnerability, Data scarcity, Fuzzy logic

Referencia APA: Duhalde, D., Arumí, J., Oyarzún, R. and Rivera, D. (2018). Fuzzy-based assessment of groundwater intrinsic vulnerability of a volcanic aquifer in the Chilean Andean Valley. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 190(7).

Protected areas in Chile: are we managing them?

Autores:

Petit, I., Campoy, A., Hevia, M., Gaymer, C. and Squeo, F.

Resumen:


Background
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.

Results
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.

Conclusions
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?

Año: 2018

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

The impact of different agroecological conditions on the nutritional composition of quinoa seeds

Autores:

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.

Resumen:

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.

Año: 2018

Palabras claves: Agroecological conditions; Nutritional properties; Quinoa; Seed

Referencia APA: 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. (2018). The impact of different agroecological conditions on the nutritional composition of quinoa seeds. PeerJ, 6, p.e4442.

Roof-integrated dew water harvesting in Combarbalá, Chile

Autores:

Carvajal, D., Minonzio, J., Casanga, E., Muñoz, J., Aracena, A., Montecinos, S., & Beysens, D.

Resumen:

Dew harvesting can be a supplementary source of freshwater in semiarid and arid areas. Several experiments on small-scale dew condensers (usually of 1 m2) have been carried out in many places in the world; however, few experiments have been conducted on large-scale collectors integrated into buildings. This work aims to assess one year of dew water harvesting in Combarbalá (Chile) using a painted galvanised steel roof as collecting surface. The roof (36 m2) was coated with a high-infrared-emissivity paint containing aluminosilicate minerals (OPUR, France). Dew measurements were conducted daily from September 2014 to August 2015. The dew yield and its relationship with meteorological variables were analysed. The results show that despite the low nocturnal relative humidity throughout the year (average: 48%), dew collection occurred on 56.1% of the recorded days. The daily average collection rate was 1.9 L d−1, with a maximum of 15 L d−1. The maximum daily dew yield is correlated strongly with relative humidity and correlated weakly with air temperature and wind speed. Considering the same rooftop can collect dew and rain, it was estimated that over one year dew water could contribute to roughly 8.2% of the total water collected, considering both sources.

Año: 2018

Palabras claves: Atmospheric water, dew collection, radiative cooling, water resources

Referencia APA: Carvajal, D., Minonzio, J., Casanga, E., Muñoz, J., Aracena, A., Montecinos, S., & Beysens, D. (2018). Roof-integrated dew water harvesting in Combarbalá, Chile. Journal Of Water Supply: Research And Technology - Aqua, 67(4), 357-374. doi: 10.2166/aqua.2018.174

Oenological and Quality Characteristic on Young White Wines (Sauvignon Blanc): Effects of High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing

Autores:

Briones-Labarca, V., Perez-Wom, M., Habib, G., Giovagnoli-Vicuña, C., Cañas-Sarazua, R., Tabilo-Munizaga, G., & Salazar, F. N.

Resumen:

High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) has shown to have an effect of enhancing some properties without detrimental effects on important quality characteristics, such as colour, pH, and turbidity. This suggests that this technique can be used as an alternative to the existing methods used in wine industry processing. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of HHP on aroma compounds and also sensory and quality properties of young white wine. HHP treatment did not influence physicochemical parameters, total phenols, and flavonoid contents of white wine; however, the results from analysis of wine indicate that there was a great variation in the concentration of free and total sulphur dioxide (SO2) values and antioxidant capacity of white wine after HHP application. The sensory attributes, such as taste, odour, and overall quality, were not affected by HHP processing at 300 MPa. The chromatic characteristics changed slightly after applying HHP, but these changes could not be visually perceived because they were less than 5%. The use of this technique has the potential to decrease the amount of SO2 added to raw grapes thus maintaining the same properties found in untreated wine. This study provided valuable insights into the biochemical and sensory composition of commercial white wine and how this might change during HHP processing.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves:

Referencia APA: Briones-Labarca, V., Perez-Wom, M., Habib, G., Giovagnoli-Vicuña, C., Cañas-Sarazua, R., Tabilo-Munizaga, G., & Salazar, F. N. (2017). Oenological and Quality Characteristic on Young White Wines (Sauvignon Blanc): Effects of High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing. Journal of Food Quality, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/8524073

Comparative population genetics of two dominant plant species of high Andean wetlands reveals complex evolutionary histories and conservation perspectives in Chile’s Norte Chico

Autores:

Troncoso, A. J., Bertin, A., Osorio, R., Arancio, G., & Gouin, N.

Resumen:

High Andean wetlands are naturally fragmented ecosystems that are impacted by anthropogenic activities. Although they constitute important reservoirs of biodiversity and ecosystem service providers, many aspects of their ecology are still unknown. In this study, we investigated the population genetic structure of two dominant and highly interactive plant species of high altitude wetlands, Patosia clandestina (Juncaceae) and Carex gayana (Cyperaceae), in 21 high Andean wetlands of Chile’s Norte Chico. Using rbcL gene sequences and AFLP markers, we found that both species displayed low levels of within-wetland genetic diversity, high inter-population genetic differentiation, and spatially-dependent genetic variation arising from isolation-by-distance. The distance at which populations become genetically independent was of the same order of magnitude in both species (125–175 km). Despite these similarities, idiosyncratic spatial patterns were detected. C. gayana in the three most northeastern wetlands demonstrated marked differences relative to the rest of the populations, with the latter group following a latitudinal stepping-stone pattern. In P. clandestina, a genetic barrier was found to divide the northern and southern populations into two balanced groups, and spatial genetic variation was consistent with a hierarchical island model. The data indicate that each of the two species likely responded to different geological and ecological events, resulting in the definition of unique evolutionarily significant units in both. These results suggest that the implementation of global conservation programs at regional scales would likely result in the loss of important components of biodiversity in these ecosystems, and underscore the need for caution in designing effective conservation strategies.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: AFLP, Carex gayana, Genetic diversity, Patosia clandestina, Population differentiation, Evolutionarily significant units

Referencia APA: Troncoso, A. J., Bertin, A., Osorio, R., Arancio, G., & Gouin, N. (2017). Comparative population genetics of two dominant plant species of high Andean wetlands reveals complex evolutionary histories and conservation perspectives in Chile’s Norte Chico. Conservation Genetics, 18(5), 1047-1060. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-017-0957-3

On the indiscriminate use of imported emission factors in environmental impact assessment: A case study in Chile

Autores:

Bernal, M. F., Oyarzún, J., & Oyarzún, R.

Resumen:

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) aims to determine if the environmental effect of an activity or project complies with standards and regulations. A primary component of the environment to evaluate is air and the effect that various activities can have on its quality. To this end, emission factors (EFs), which are empirical coefficients or mathematical relationships, are normally used. The present research critically analyzes the implications and consequences of using imported EFs in environmental impact studies (EISs), taking as case of study the situation in Chile. Among the main results, the widespread use of EFs in EISs in the country and the lack of assessments of their actual applicability stand out. In addition, the official guidelines related to emissions estimation that are used for EIA in the country mostly include EFs derived elsewhere, without considering the recommendations or restrictions that the original sources indicate for their use. Finally, the broad use of default values defined for the Metropolitan Region in Central Chile, is highly questionable for a country that extends north-south along more than 35° of latitude, with wide variability in climate, traffic conditions, population, soil types, etc. Finally, it is very likely that situations similar to those observed in the present work occurs in other countries with young environmental impact assessment systems, and therefore, that the results herein presented should be of general interest and relevance.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Empirical models, Law 20417, Air quality, Environmental management

Referencia APA: Bernal, M. F., Oyarzún, J., & Oyarzún, R. (2017). On the indiscriminate use of imported emission factors in environmental impact assessment: A case study in Chile. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 64, 123-130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2017.03.006

A simple approach for the analysis of the structural-geologic control of groundwater in an arid rural, mid-mountain, granitic and volcanic-sedimentary terrain: The case of the Coquimbo Region, North-Central Chile

Autores:

Oyarzún, R., Oyarzún, J., Fairley, J. P., Núñez, J., Gómez, N., Arumí, J. L., & Maturana, H.

Resumen:

A practical approach for the assessment of surface water and groundwater resources in rain-fed mid-mountain domains of arid to semi-arid zones is much needed, especially in rural areas for which groundwater is the only reliable and permanent water supply source. This is the case in the Coquimbo region (29°15′- 32°10′ S latitude) of north-central Chile, where groundwater is needed for human consumption but also for agricultural and mining activities at a small to medium scale. This paper examines the usefulness of community knowledge, as encoded in the historical record, for identifying water resources. The existing record of wells and springs in the Coquimbo region is used as a guide to the identification and characterization of structural patterns that may influence the distribution of water resources. The proposed approach combines simple graphical, statistical and geostatistical methods to identify patterns, likely related to local and regional structural controls that influence the distribution of groundwater resources. In the Coquimbo area, these influences tend to align in NW and NE orientations that approximately coincide with regional geological trends. The methodology presented has the potential to form a first step in the search for additional water resources in the Coquimbo region, and may be useful for targeting detailed field studies on the basis of community and historical knowledge in many arid and semi-arid rural areas.

Año: 2017

Palabras claves: Wells, Springs, Rain-fed area, Drylands, Geohydrology

Referencia APA: Oyarzún, R., Oyarzún, J., Fairley, J. P., Núñez, J., Gómez, N., Arumí, J. L., & Maturana, H. (2017). A simple approach for the analysis of the structural-geologic control of groundwater in an arid rural, mid-mountain, granitic and volcanic-sedimentary terrain: The case of the Coquimbo Region, North-Central Chile. Journal of Arid Environments, 142, 31-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaridenv.2017.03.003

Landscape connectivity among remnant populations of guanaco (Lama guanicoe Müller, 1776) in an arid region of Chile impacted by global change

Autores:

Espinoza, M. I., Gouin, N., Porcile, F. A. S., Aspe, D. L., & Bertin, A.

Resumen:

Connectivity between populations plays a key role in the long-term persistence of species in fragmented habitats. This is of particular concern for biodiversity preservation in drylands, since water limited landscapes are typically characterized by little suitable habitat cover, high habitat fragmentation, harsh matrices, and are being rapidly degraded at a global scale. In this study, we modelled landscape connectivity between 11 guanaco Lama guanicoe populations in Chile’s arid Norte Chico, a region that supports the last remnant coastal populations of this emblematic herbivore indigenous to South America. We produced a habitat suitability model to derive a regional surface resistance map, and used circuit theory to map functional connectivity, investigate the relative isolation between populations, and identify those that contribute most to the patch connectivity network. Predicted suitable habitat for L. guanicoe represented about 25% of the study region (i.e., 29,173 km2) and was heterogeneously distributed along a continuous stretch along the Andes, and discontinuous patches along the coast. As a result, we found that high connectivity current flows in the mid and high Andes formed a wide, continuous connectivity corridor, enabling connectivity between all high Andean populations. Coastal populations, in contrast, were more isolated. These groups demonstrate no inter-population connectivity between themselves, only with higher altitude populations, and for two of them, animal movement was linked to the effectiveness of wildlife crossings along the Pan-American highway. Our results indicate that functional connectivity is an issue of concern for L. guanicoe in Chile’s Norte Chico, implying that future conservation and management plans should emphasize strategies aimed at conserving functional connectivity between coastal and Andean populations, as well as the protection of habitat patches likely to act as stepping stones within the connectivity network.

Año: 2018

Palabras claves:

Referencia APA: Espinoza, M. I., Gouin, N., Porcile, F. A. S., Aspe, D. L., & Bertin, A. (2017). Landscape connectivity among remnant populations of guanaco (Lama guanicoe Müller, 1776) in an arid region of Chile impacted by global change. PeerJ PrePrints. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4429