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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X

Abstract

DIAZ-JARAMILLO, MAURICIO; MUNOZ, PAMELA; DELGADO-BLAS, VÍCTOR  and  BERTRAN, CARLOS. Spatio-temporal distribution of spionids (Polychaeta-Spionidae) in an estuarine system in south-central Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2008, vol.81, n.4, pp.501-514. ISSN 0716-078X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2008000400005.

This study is based on the identification and distribution of spionid polychaetes in relation to abiotic characteristics of the environment at the mouth of the Valdivia-Tornagaleones estuary in south-central Chile. Four samplings were carried out in 2005, in which eight species were identified including Aquilaspio peruana, Boccardia polybranchia, Carazziella carrascoi, Dipolydora socialis, Minuspio patagónica, Rhynchospio glutaea, Scolelepis quinquedentata and Spiophanes sp. As it is typical of other estuaries in south central Chile, spionids were an important component of the macroinfauna of the Valdivia estuary. The distribution of the Spionidae family in the system showed higher species richness in the outer reach of the estuary but higher abundance (number of specimens) at the inner reach. The distributional pattern of the polychaetes did not vary throughout the year, exhibiting strong spatial zonation with three significantly different assemblages. Minuspio patagónica, A. peruana and C. carrascoi contributed to the similarity between these three groups, as well as to the formation of a general component in the macroinfauna. Sedimentological and depth variables, as well as sedimentary organic material were only marginally related to the distribution of spionids. Results showed that bottom salinity was the environmental variable responsible for spatial differentiation of spionids in the three groups, which permit to differentiate the outer-reach species from those in the internal area of the estuary. The significant contribution of spionids to the total component of macroinfauna in the studied area shows that these species are a significant component of the estuarine and transition areas in the southwest Pacific coast.

Keywords : Polychaeta; Spionidae; distribution; estuary; salinity; sediments; Chile.

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