Revista chilena de historia natural
versión impresa ISSN 0716-078X
MOLINET, CARLOS et al. Patterns of larval distribution and settlement of Concholepas concholepas (Bruguiere, 1789) (Gastropoda, Muricidae) in fjords and channels of southern Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2005, vol.78, n.3, pp. 409-423. ISSN 0716-078X. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2005000300005.
The distribution of Concholepas concholepas (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Muricidae) is limited to the coasts of Chile and southern Peru. Almost all studies of this gastropod have been carried out in open coastal systems, rather than the fjords and channels of southern Chile, despite the fact that this area represents ca. 95 % of the total coastline in this country. Although there is a large volume of background literature on C. concholepas, almost nothing is published about early larval development under natural conditions, mostly because early veligers have rarely been found in nature. This study is the first attempt to determine the spatial and temporal abundance and size patterns of C. concholepas larvae in their natural environment throughout all of their developmental stages until they settle. Weekly plankton samples were obtained at the surface and at 8 m depth in four locations in southern Chile in combination with temperature and salinity records in each location. Settlement was quantified using artificial substrates in all locations. We have observed that C. concholepas larval development occurs throughout the entire year in Chilean inland seas, with early veliger larvae being released mostly from August to March, reaching the competent stage around June to August, and settling between July and August. Thus, larvae appear to have a long planktonic development that can last between 6 and 12 months. Differences in local hydrology could affect larval development of C. concholepas in this region. Further oceanographic and ecological investigation is necessary in order to answer the questions and hypotheses originated from this study
Palabras clave : larval ecology; larval development; veliger larvae; fjords and channels; C. concholepas.