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Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia

On-line version ISSN 0718-686X


RIOS, Carlos; MUTSCHKE, Erika  and  MONTIEL, Américo. Macrobenthic Composition and Structure in the Inner Chilean Southern Channel and Fjords System. Anales Instituto Patagonia (Chile) [online]. 2013, vol.41, n.2, pp.74-86. ISSN 0718-686X.

The composition of the community and the distribution and abundance of benthic macroinvertebrates, was investigated in the inland channels and fiords of Southern Chile. The field work was carried out during the 15 CIMAR FIORDS Cruise, on the Chilean Navy oceanographic vessel "AGOR Vidal Gormaz". A modified trawl net Agassiz (AGT) was used to record semi-quantitative data from 19 sampling stations, with depths between 26-620 m. A total of 61 taxa were identified from 13 stations with successful samples. Molluscs (16 taxa) and echinoderms (15 taxa) were the dominant groups in terms of species richness, while echinoderms were numerically the largest group (54%). The asteroid Ctenodiscus procurator was the dominant species (43%) in all stations. The results show spatial differences in structure and composition of macro-invertebrates, suggesting the existence of two species assemblages associated with depth as the main factor. It is suggested that the biodiversity in these areas remains relatively high due to a high turnover of species between sites, with well-defined sectors and also differentiation of its biotic composition. Future studies would be improved by a greater density of sampling stations and the inclusion of quantitative methods of sampling complementing the semiquantitative with an AGT.

Keywords : benthos; marine communities; biodiversity; species richness; Magellan; subantarctic; CIMAR; EstimateS.

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