Scientia Marina, Vol 63, No S1 (1999)

Plankton of Southern Chilean fjords: trends and linkages

Tarcisio Antezana
Departamento de Oceanografía, Universidad de Concepción, Chile


The present paper compiles and reviews past and recent results from Magellan and Fuegian fjords for an overview of the planktonic assemblage there. It first examines linkages to local, adjacent and remote environments. The plankton assemblage presents deviations from the biota of the Magellan biogeographic Province, where the occasional presence of Antarctic species is related to oceanographic phenomena at the Polar Front. Complex bathymetric and hydrographic features within the fjords suggest that the plankton is rather isolated. Adaptations and constraints for population survival, and the role of diel migrators and gregarious zooplankters with regard to bentho-pelagic coupling are discussed. Results on seasonal differences in the plankton of the largest and most isolated basin of the Strait of Magellan are compiled. In spring the plankton was dominated by large diatoms suggesting a short food chain where most of the phytoplankton bloom goes to the bottom, to the meroplankton and to a few dominant holoplankters. In summer, the phytoplankton was dominated by pico- and nanophytoplankton suggesting a more complex food web mediated by a bacterial loop. High abundance of holo- and meroplanktonic larvae coincided with spring blooming conditions.


Estuarine; Subantarctic; adaptations; patterns; seasonal; migration; food webs

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Copyright (c) 1999 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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