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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


BUSTOS, CLAUDIA A; LANDAETA, MAURICIO F  and  BALBONTIN, FERNANDO. Environmental effects on the spatial variability of the ichthyoplankton from southern Chile during November 2005. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2008, vol.81, n.2, pp.205-219. ISSN 0716-078X.

The distribution and abundance of ichthyoplankton from southern Chile (41-45°S) during November 2005 were analyzed, in relation to the oceanographic features of the water column (temperature, salinity, stratification). During the sampling period, 44.606 fish eggs and 2.016 fish larvae were collected, belonging to 28 taxa. Early life stages of small pelagic fishes dominated the plankton samples, with mean densities of ~ 14,000 eggs 10 m-2 of anchovy (Engraulis ringens) and > 100 larvae 10 m-2of clupleids. Multivariate analysis showed the conformation of two groups of stations, one associated to deeper fjord áreas, with strong vertical gradients of temperature and salinity, and higher stratification. The other group was associated to the shallow and well-mixed eastern border of Chiloé Island. In áreas with strong stratification (Le., higher Brunt-Váisála frequency, N2), significant higher densities of pelagic and mesopelagic fish eggs and larvae were collected (Le., Strangomera bentincki, Maurolicus parvipinnis). Comparing these results with an oceanographic cruise carried out 10 years before in the same área (October 1995), changes in the ichthyoplankton composition were detected; this may be caused by potential differences in the marine fish species which utilize fjords and channels of southern Chile as spawning and early nursery zone.

Keywords : inland sea; fjords; fish larvae; Brunt-Váisála frequency; environmental factors.

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