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Revista de biología marina y oceanografía

On-line version ISSN 0718-1957


VELASQUEZ, Carlos et al. Exposed rocky intertidal biota of the Isla Grande de Chiloé, Archipiélago de Chiloé, Chile: Diversity patterns and ecological and biogeographic implications. Rev. biol. mar. oceanogr. [online]. 2016, vol.51, n.1, pp.33-50. ISSN 0718-1957.

The northern part of the Chiloé Island (41.8°S) has been linked to an abrupt biogeographic break in the Southeastern Pacific; a break which represents the northern limit of the Magellanic Province, a large zone geographically characterized by a broken coastline as opposed to the Chilean coast further north. This study represents a first eco-biogeographical characterization of the rocky intertidal macrobiota along the northwest coast of Chiloé Island, a coastal line stretching nearly 50 km. Sampling was carried out at 5 sites using the same systematic design (transects perpendicular to the coast using 0.25 m2 quadrats in 4 tidal levels), and the data were analyzed by using multivariate statistical methods. A total of 38 species were recorded, with a consistent zonation and dominance across sites, albeit minor differences due to local variations in abundance and cover of mobile and sessile species. Virtually all taxa were organisms widely distributed along the coast of Chile, showing patterns of community structure and composition similar to those documented for central Chile. We reinforce the need to reassess the biogeographic character of the coasts directly exposed to the Pacific in the austral zone of Chile, and the role of historical processes on the northwest coast of Chiloé having in mind that the study area was not affected by glacial advances in the late Pleistocene.

Keywords : Glaciation; Magellan Province; biogeographic transition; zonation.

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