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Bosque (Valdivia)

On-line version ISSN 0717-9200


CONTADOR, Tamara et al. Life cycles of freshwater invertebrates and global climate change in the sub-Antarctic Magellanicecoregion: long-term ecological research at the Omora Ethonobotanical Park, Biosphere Reserve Cape Horn (55° S). Bosque (Valdivia) [online]. 2014, vol.35, n.3, pp.429-437. ISSN 0717-9200.

The Omora Ehtonobotanical Park (55° S) is the southernmost site of the LTSER network-Chile and the interdisciplinary research center of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve in the sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion. The park protects the Róbalo River watershed that provides water to Puerto Williams, the capital of the Chilean Antarctic Province. In 2008, we initiated long-term studies on the diversity, distribution and life histories of aquatic insects associated with the Róbalo River and other streams on Navarino Island. These studies are of major interest to the LTSER-Chile network and to world science for three reasons: 1) the unique climatic characteristics of the sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion, which contrast with those of the Northern Hemisphere; 2) responses of freshwater insects and their life cycles are very sensitive to temperature, and along the thermic variations associated with the altitudinal gradient of the Róbalo River we can make predictions for various scenarios of Global Climate Change; 3) the life cycles of freshwater insects have been understudied in southwestern South America, and by incorporating similar studies of phenological responses of freshwater insects at other sites LTSER-Chile sites along a latitudinal gradient will allow us to assess early signals of this biota to global climate change.

Keywords : benthic macroinvertebrates; phenology; stream ecology; conservation.

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