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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


MORENO, RODRIGO A; NEILL, PAULA E  and  ROZBACZYLO, NICOLÁS. Native and non-indigenous boring polychaetes in Chile: a threat to native and commercial mollusc species. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2006, vol.79, n.2, pp.263-278. ISSN 0716-078X.

Boring polychaetes infesting the shells of aquacultured molluscs affect host fitness and cause serious economic problems for the aquaculture industry. In Chile, knowledge of the native and non-indigenous polychaete fauna associated with mollusc hosts is limited, in spite of the fact that numerous native and non-indigenous mollusc species are actively harvested. We present the first complete list of boring polychaete species present in Chile, with a review of the information regarding each species' status as a native or non-indigenous species (NIS), together with information on native and introduced ranges, affected host species, likely vectors of introduction and donor areas. We recorded a total of nine boring polychaetes present along the Chilean coast including native and NIS. Within the NIS category we provide the first published report of the Sabellid Terebrasabella heterouncinata in South America. Boring polychaetes utilized both native and introduced host species. The finding of polychaete species which utilized multiple native and NIS hosts, indicates a potential risk for spread between aquaculture facilities and the natural environment. Our analysis suggests that aquaculture activities are probably the primary introduction vector for boring polychaete species to Chile and that this region does not differ in the magnitude of introduced boring polychaetes relative to other regions of the world. We discuss current laws and management regarding polychaete infestations and make recommendations for future management in Chile, which should contemplate a rational compromise between the socio-economic needs of the country and plans to protect and preserve the nation's biodiversity

Keywords : Bioinvasions; legislation; management; NIS; Southeastern Pacific.

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