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Revista de biología marina y oceanografía

On-line version ISSN 0718-1957


HERNANDEZ-MIRANDA, Eduardo et al. The use of otoliths and larval abundance for studying the spatial ecology of the blenny Scartichthys viridis (Valenciennes, 1836) in coastal central Chile. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. [online]. 2009, vol.44, n.3, pp.619-633. ISSN 0718-1957.

Several studies in marine ecology have focused on evaluating what determines the spatial and temporal structure of organisms within the intertidal and coastal zone. Our results suggest that individuals of Scartichthys viridis, separated by spatial scales greater that 200 km, would also be demographically separated, having independent reproductive activity and population dynamics. Such spatial difference is suggested by analyzing trace elements found in the otoliths of recruited specimens, which were obtained simultaneously from Los Molles and Isla Negra, central Chile. Considering larval dispersion potential (92-106 days), based on daily micro increments of otoliths, both populations could be connected. However, this may not be the case, since the behavioral trend of these fish during larval stages seems to be near the areas where they hatched. Although this study does not fully reveal the specific biophysical mechanisms involved, it proposes some alternatives that may address such questions. These results may assist in guiding further studies towards explicitly determining population segregation at minor spatial scales, as well as the specific biophysical mechanisms that determine transport, larval dispersion and population connectivity of fishes in intertidal environments.

Keywords : Microchemistry; fish larvae; intertidal zone; dispersal.

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