Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista chilena de historia natural]]> vol. 95 num. lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[A study of composition and diversity variation of avifauna along with different types of agroforestry system in Kibet town, Southern Ethiopia]]> Abstract Background: Agroforestry is an integrated land-use system that plays a great role in the conservation of landscape biodiversity. The study aimed to assess the composition and diversity of avian species along with different habitat types of agroforestry in Kibet Town, Southern Ethiopia. Methods: Four habitat types of agroforestry system which are home gardens, live fences, parkland, and eucalyptus woodlot were identified. Line transects were used for bird surveys. The Shannon diversity index (H’) and species evenness index (E) were used to compare diversity among habitat types. A similarity percentages (SIMPER) test was carried out to identify the main species and feeding guild that typified each habitat type. The overall significance was assessed with the ANOSIM test using PAST (version 4.03). Results: A total of 50 bird species belonging to 28 families and 10 orders were recorded. Order Passeriformes (67.3%) had the highest number of species. Bird community composition differed among habitat types. The dissimilarity was mainly due to White-browed robin-chat ( Cossypha heuglini) , Streaky seed-eater ( Serinus striolatus) , Village Weaver ( Ploceus cucullatus) , African Paradise-Flycatcher ( Terpsiphone viridis) , and Black-Headed Paradise Flycatcher ( T rufiventer). The finding also revealed that insectivore was the dominant feeding guild. Conclusions: The present study shows evidence that more insectivore bird species use different types of agroforestry as habitat and foraging sites. So, any concerned bodies who have engaged in avian conservation should give special consideration to this modified landscape. <![CDATA[Effects of landscape configuration on the occurrence and abundance of an arboreal marsupial from the Valdivian rainforest]]> Abstract Background: Habitat fragmentation and degradation processes affect biodiversity by reducing habitat quantity and quality, with differential effects on the resident species. However, their consequences are not always noticeable as some ecological processes affected involve idiosyncratic responses among different animal groups. The Valdivian temperate rainforests of southern Chile are experiencing a rapid fragmentation and degradation process despite being a biodiversity hotspot. Deforestation is one of the main threats to these forests. There inhabits the arboreal marsupial Dromiciops gliroides , an iconic species from the Valdivian rainforest, it is the only extant representative of the ancient Microbiotheria order, and it is currently threatened by habitat loss. Here we tested the effects of habitat configuration on D. gliroides occurrence and abundance along 12 landscapes of southern Chile with different disturbance levels. Methods: We estimated D. gliroides occurrence and abundance using camera traps and related those metrics with landscape configuration indices obtained from FRAGSTATS (i.e., forest %, connectivity, patch number, contiguity, and distance to the nearest patch) using Bayesian linear mixed models. Results: We found that D. gliroides occurrence was not influenced by landscape configuration, while its abundance was positively influenced by forest contiguity. Conclusions: Although this arboreal marsupial is present in disturbed forests, its restricted movement capabilities and high dependency on the forest three-dimensional structure may affect its long-term persistence. We urge to rethink native forest conservation and management policies to improve habitat connectivity with possible positive consequences for native fauna. <![CDATA[A quick evaluation of ecological restoration based on arthropod communities and trophic guilds in an urban ecological preserve in Mexico City]]> Abstract Background: Restoration practices usually emphasize on the structural part of the biodiversity; also, most studies have focused on plants and very few have been conducted on arthropods and its function after restoration. The Pedregal de San Angel Ecological Reserve (PSAER) is a protected area immersed in Mexico City and it has been drastically affected by different anthropogenic disturbances. The aim of this study was to compare the relative diversity, richness, and abundance of species level identification, but also the composition through an analysis of ordination of taxonomic (species, family, and order level) and functional (trophic guild) traits of arthropods in three sites subjected to ecological restoration within the PSAER. Restored sites were also compared to conserved and disturbed sites, to evaluate whether restoration efforts are effective at the reserve. Methods: Arthropods were sampled using pan traps during September 2013 in 11 sites (three restored, four conserved and four disturbed) inside the PSAER. All sampled species were taxonomically identified at species of morphospecies (inside a family) and assigned to a trophic guild. Differences in diversity, richness and abundance were evaluated through effective number of species, comparisons of Chao’s1 estimated richness and a non-parametric Kruskal–Wallis test, respectively. Both taxonomic and trophic guild composition were evaluated using a multivariate analysis and a post hoc test. Results: We found some differences in richness, abundance, and diversity between sites, but not a clear pattern of differentiation between restored to disturbed sites. The NMDS showed differences at species and order level, and with trophic guilds, among site types. Families were not useful to differentiate types of sites. Regarding guilds, predators were more abundant in conserved sites, while phytophagous insects were more abundant in disturbed sites. Conclusions: Species and order level were useful to identify differences in communities of arthropods in sites with different management. The trophic guild approach provides information about the functional state of the restored sites. Nevertheless, our quick evaluation shows that restoration efforts at PSAER have not been successful in differentiate restored to disturbed sites yet. <![CDATA[The impact of protected areas on poverty: evidence from Chile]]> Abstract In this paper, we estimate the causal relationship between protected areas and poverty in Chile from 1982 to 2002. Chile is part of the coalition of countries committed to protecting 30% of the planet by 2030; a decision that implies increasing the number of protected areas in the country. As a result of this decision, grows the national debate about the potential impacts of protected areas on the economy and society. By estimating the causal effect of protected areas on poverty, we aim to contribute to this debate in Chile. We use panel data and a quasi-experimental approach to estimate the causal effect. We find that establishing a protected area covering at least 17% of a unit's terrestrial area causes a reduction of 0.216 standard deviations in the poverty index. This result is not sensitive to arbitrary implementation choices. Additionally, we show that the effect is driven by the Patagonia region, the part of Chile with the largest amount of new protected areas during the time frame of this study. Besides showing the benefits of protected areas to society, we hope the findings presented here might also be used to attract new investments and financial support to protected areas currently underfunded in Chile. <![CDATA[Rivers as a potential dispersing agent of the invasive tree <em>Acacia dealbata</em>]]> Abstract Background: The silver wattle Acacia dealbata is a fast-growing tree from Australia that has become naturalised in different regions of the world, attaining invasive status in most of them. In Chile, A. dealbata reaches large abundances along banks and floodplains of invaded fluvial systems, suggesting that rivers may act as a vector for seed dispersal. As hydrochory has not been documented previously in this species, the aim of this study is to evaluate the potential for water dispersal of seeds of this invasive tree along rivers. Methods: Seed samples from rivers were collected at three sites along two A. dealbata-invaded rivers within the Cachapoal basin, central Chile. Number of seeds collected was contrasted versus hydraulic and local conditions with RDA. Seed buoyancy and sedimentation velocity were determined and compared between sites with an ANCOVA. Finally, the probability of seed germination after long periods of immersion in water was assessed, simulating transport conditions in the flow. Germination results were tested with a GLM. Results: Results indicate that increasing abundance of A. dealbata seeds in the flow is related to the level of turbulence of the flow. Seeds display high floatability but their sedimentation velocity is high when they do sink. Finally, silver wattle seeds can germinate after long periods (many weeks) of immersion in water; however, their probability of germination depends to a large extent on whether seeds are scarified or not. Conclusions: Based on the evidence collected, we suggest that the seeds of A. dealbata have the necessary traits to be dispersed by rivers, this being the first research testing this hypothesis. The success of hydrochory of A. dealbata would depend on river flow turbulence, and whether there are natural mechanisms for scarifying the seeds either before or during transport. The proposed methodology can be used to assess river hydrochory for any tree species. <![CDATA[Historical account and current ecological knowledge of the southernmost lizard in the world, Liolaemus magellanicus (Squamata: Liolaemidae)]]> Abstract Background The systematics of Liolaemus magellanicus has been relatively well researched, but despite its recognition as the southernmost lizard in the world, scant attention has been paid to the discovery, distribution, biogeography, and ecology of this lizard at the southern tip of South America. I hereby research such aspects and collate the most relevant information reported in the primary literature. Methods and Results I conducted a selective review of the history of discovery, distributional records, biogeography, and ecological features of L. magellanicus, as recorded in mainstream journals and landmark monographs and books. I specifically omitted the work on the systematics of the species and genus because its complexity warrants separate treatment. I found scattered references to this lizard starting with the chronicles of several overseas expeditions (British, French, and Swedish), with Darwin, Jacquinot and Guichenot, and Anderson and Ohlin acting as informers; and culminating with Skottsberg, a traveler, and Bridges, an early settler in Tierra del Fuego Island. Modern treatment of this species started with Hellmich in the 1930s and Donoso-Barros in the 1960s in Chile, and with Cei in Argentina in the 1960s and has continued chiefly in the latter country until today. Discussion I propose this species as a model ectothermic vertebrate that may serve to test hypotheses about: (a) Resource allocation strategies to deal with a harsh environment that affords limited opportunities for foraging and reproductive activities of a lizard. (b) Behavioral strategies for dealing with thermoregulation, food, and mate acquisition, and care –if any—of offspring. (c) Its place within the rather impoverished food web of which this species forms part of. This relatively new species, which persisted in glacial refuges before being cut off into two subpopulations—one mainlander, another islander—also offers fertile ground for testing population genetic, evolutionary, and phylogeographic hypotheses. I think that biogeographers, systematists, evolutionists, physiologists, and ecologists should take advantage of this uniquely positioned species in the southernmost margin of the world. <![CDATA[Spatial dissimilarity of zooplankton and hydrodynamic conditions in a Patagonian channel used intensely by aquaculture: the influence of a geomorphological constriction]]> Abstract Background: Marine aquaculture is a very important economic and food production activity in Patagonian channels. The biophysical mechanisms through which farms interact with surrounding areas is poorly understood. A better understanding of the relationship between zooplankton distribution, hydrodynamics and aquaculture farms in Patagonian channels can contribute to the environmental sustainability of this activity. Methods: The study was conducted in winter in the Caucahué Channel (Chiloé Island, southern Chile), which is composed of two asymmetric northern and southern sections separated by a geomorphological constriction (a narrows) and hosts 55 aquaculture farms. Intensive zooplankton and water column sampling (time scale: 12 h) was carried out, together with current measurements as a background of the channel hydrodynamics (time scale: 30 days). Results: Spatial dissimilarities in composition and abundances of zooplankton communities and in water column variables were identified between the two sections of the channel in this short-term time scale. In the southern section we found higher abundances of holo- and meroplankton and higher species richness. No differences in zooplankton community were found between sampling sites near and far from aquaculture farms. Southward asymmetrical residual flow and semidiurnal tidal excursion were verified in the central part of the channel during two tidal fortnightly time periods. Conclusions: (i) Clear dissimilarity in zooplankton composition were found between the two sections of Caucahué Channel in the time scale studied; and (ii) Quemchi geomorphological constriction and the asymmetrical southward residual flow could act as a physical barrier favoring the spatial dissimilarities found in biotic and abiotic variables between the two sections of the channel. <![CDATA[The social system of the lava lizard, <em>Microlophus atacamensis</em>: the interplay between social structure and social organization]]> Abstract Background Animal social systems can be described through four main components: social structure, social organization, mating system, and care system. Social structure describes the relationships between individuals in a population, while social organization describes the group composition, size, and spatiotemporal variation of a population. We use the frameworks of social structure and social organization to study the social system of Microlophus atacamensis, a lizard found in the rocky intertidal zone along the Chilean coast. The area M. atacamensis inhabits poses specific challenges stemming from their use of two distinct habitat types in the intertidal zone: they forage in the cool areas near the water's edge and use large rocks in more inland areas for basking and refuge. Methods Our assessment of their social system focused on two separate populations: one to characterize social structure by means of focal observations and social network analysis, and a second to assess social organization via home range and core area analyses. Further, we examined the social system in two habitat types that comprise the intertidal zone: cobble fields and interspersed large rocks. Results Social network analysis revealed an interconnected network with a few highly central individuals. Body size influenced the outcomes of aggressive interactions, with interactions being more common in cobble fields where males had more associates and more repeated interactions than females. Spatial analyses revealed that the social organization of M. atacamensis is characterized by (1) high home range overlap, specifically in the cobble fields and (2) relatively exclusive core areas dispersed across both habitat types. Conclusion A social system is composed of both cooperative and competitive behaviors. While our study focused on competitive interactions, the extent and influence of cooperative behaviors is still unclear and merits future research. We suggest that M. atacamensis has a variable social system in which territoriality on large rocks affects access to stationary resources in that habitat (e.g., basking sites and refuges), while competition in the cobble fields could lay the foundation for a system of dominance relationships controlling access to variable food resources in cobble field areas of the intertidal zone. <![CDATA[World-level ecologists in Chile: Oldtimers, newcomers, and the bypassed]]> Abstract Background: A team of 3 scientometrists led by John loannidis published in 2020 an extensive and updated data-base (ca. 6.9 million researchers in 22 disciplines and 176 sub-disciplines), ordering them according to a composite bibliometric index that measures their whole trajectory (career-long) impact and their annual impact at year 2019. They reported the top 100,000 scientists (1.45% across all disciplinary fields) or the top 2% of each subfield discipline, thus publishing the ranking of ca. 150,000 researchers worldwide. Methods and findings: We filtered that information for the disciplinary and sub-disciplinary areas corresponding to Ecology and identified a total of 14 ecologists with residence in Chile that appear in either of those two world�wide rankings. We report their measured productivity as both whole trajectory (career-long) and as annual impact at year 2019. We attribute their high registered productivity to their training at the doctoral level in prestigious foreign universities, their academic positions in internationally recognized Chilean universities, and their participation in state-�funded research centers of scientific excellence. Exceptions to the rule are presented. Conclusions: The 14 ecologists identified with the scientometric algorithm proposed by loannidis and coworkers include, but are not restricted, to the most cited ecologists in Chile. We put forth possible reasons for some puzzling omissions from these rankings.