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Anales del Instituto de la Patagonia

On-line version ISSN 0718-686X


PEREDA, Raúl; PEREZ, Daniel  and  PAREDES, Felidor. Ecological characterisation of planktonic communities in three western fjords of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field. Anales Instituto Patagonia (Chile) [online]. 2021, vol.49, 8.  Epub Sep 30, 2021. ISSN 0718-686X.

This study presents the first data on the pelagic communities of the fjords Témpano, Bernardo, and Ofhidro, and contributes to the ecological knowledge of phyto- and zooplankton, and that are of great importance to understand the cold- water coastal ecosystem occidental of patagonian ice field. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize the pelagic community (phytoplankton and zooplankton) by determining its taxonomic composition, relative abundance, biodiversity and distribution in three fjords within the patagonian ice field: Témpano (48.72°S-74.04°W), Bernardo (48.57°S-73.93°W) and Ofhidro (48.40°S-73.84°W). In February 2020 an expedition was carried out on board the L/M AGÜILAF, and during this expedition 18 phytoplankton and 18 zooplankton samples were collected. A total of 25 taxa of pelagic organisms, 13 phytoplankton species and 12 zooplankton taxa were recorded. In the phytoplankton samples, Dinophysis sp. was the most frequent species, being recorded in 83% of the samples. In the zooplankton samples, the most frequent holoplanktonic taxa was Copepoda, which was recorded in 72% of the total samples, and the most frequent meroplanktonic taxa was the larvae of barnacles (33%). The pelagic community of the Ofhidro fjord was characterized by the highest values of abundance and biodiversity in both phytoplankton (2,543 ± 1,603 cell per town; 13 species expected) and zooplankton (367 ± 17 ind. per town; 12 taxa expected). These patterns may be organized by the presence of freshwater and ice discharges from glaciers present in some investigated fjords.

Keywords : phytoplankton; zooplankton; proglacial; biodiversity.

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