A sentinel for monitoring climate change and its impact on biodiversity at the southern summit of the Americas: the new Cape Horn Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Network
PDF (Español (España))


Cambio Climatico
conservación biocultural
ecorregión subantártica de Magallanes,
especies exóticas
reservas de la biosfera

How to Cite

Rozzi, R., Crego, R. D., Contador, T. ., Schüttler, E., Rosenfeld, S., Mackenzie, R., Barroso, O., Silva-Rodríguez, E. A., Álvarez-Bustos, X., Silva, A., Ramírez, I., Mella, J., Herreros, J., Rendoll Cárcamo, J., Marambio, J., Ojeda, J., Méndez, F., Moses, K. P., Kennedy, J., Rusell, S., Goffinet, B., Sancho, L. G., Berchez, F., Buma, B., Aguirre, F., Sánchez-Jardón, L., Barros, E. ., Vásquez, R. A., T. K. Arroyo, M. ., Poulin, E., Squeo, F., Armesto, J. J., Mansilla, Ándres ., & Massardo, F. (2021). A sentinel for monitoring climate change and its impact on biodiversity at the southern summit of the Americas: the new Cape Horn Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Network. Anales Del Instituto De La Patagonia, 48(3), 45–81. Retrieved from https://analesdelinstitutodelapatagonia.cl/article/view/939


Biosphere reserves have among their functions to support scientific research, education, training and monitoring. In the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve (RBCH), created in 2005, these functions have been accomplished with the creation of the Omora Ethnobotanical Park in 2000, and its implementation in 2008 as a co-founder site of the Chilean Network of Studies Long-term Socio-Ecological (LTSER-Chile). In 2016, this network has been strengthened with the addition of the new Cape Horn Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research Network (LTSER-Cape Horn). The latter includes the Omora Ethnobotanical Park, and three new sites added to the monitoring of the sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion of South America. From south to north, the four sites are: (1) Gonzalo Island (56°31’S; 68°43’O), at the southern end of the Diego Ramírez archipelago, with sub-Antarctic vegetation dominated by grasses and cryptogams, devoid of woody species; (2) Horn Island (55°58’S; 67°13’O), at the southern end of the Cape Horn Islands archipelago, hosting the southernmost forest ecosystems on the planet, which are dominated by Magellan’s coigüe (Nothofagus betuloides); (3) Omora Ethnobotanical Park (54°56’S; 67’40’O), Navarino Island, an ideal site for studies on climate change and its impact on biota and sub-Antarctic ecosystems, since it protects a watershed that includes a representative mosaic of characteristic habitats of the RBCH in an altitudinal gradient with a thermal decrease analogous to that which occurs with increases in latitude; and (4) Caleta 2 de Mayo Site (54°52’S; 68’41’O), Yendegaia Bay, in an ecotonal zone between evergreen and deciduous forests (product of the local climate gradient), at a site that will be central to future connectivity between Continental Chile, Tierra del Fuego, Navarino Island, and the RBCH. In 2015, UNESCO approved the Report of the First Periodic Review of the RBCH that proposed the protection of the Diego Ramírez Archipelago and the creation of the Diego Ramírez Islands Marine Park-Drake Pass (creation decree published in the Diario Oficial of Chile in January 2019). In this context, the new LTSER-Cape Horn network acquires great local, national and global relevance. At the local scale, it covers a representative environmental heterogeneity of the great diversity of landscapes and terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems of the RBCH and the sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion. At the national scale, it incorporates sub-Antarctic monitoring sites, located at the southern end of South America, to LTSER-Chile and to the Monitoring Network of the Ministry of the Environment. On a global scale, the terrestrial ecosystems of the LTSER-Cape Horn network stands out for two main reasons: (1) these sub-Antarctic ecosystems lack a geographical replicate in the southern hemisphere, and (2) high latitude ecosystems are especially sensitive to global climate change. Thus, the LTSER-Cape Horn network helps to overcome critical geographical gaps in the implementation of the International Network for Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER). In order to articulate these four sites and strengthen the training of technical capacities and knowledge transfer to decision makers in the area of special interest tourism and other sustainable economic activities, the LTSER-Cape Horn network will be managed locally from the new Cape Horn Sub-Antarctic Center (Cape Horn Center) that will be inaugurated in Puerto Williams in 2020. The implementation of the LTSER-Cape Horn network is based on a close collaboration with various actors: Ministry of National Assets, Ministry of Environment, Subsecretary of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Ministry of Economy Development and Tourism, National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), General Water Directorate of the Ministry of Public Works, Navy of Chile, Chilean Police (Carabineros), Municipality of Cape Horn, Provincial Government of Chilean Antarctica, and the Regional Government of Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica. In the following phases, the LTSER-Cape Horn network and the Cape Horn Center aim to strengthen the participation of the local community, especially the Yahgan Indigenous Community of Bahía Mejillones, artisanal fisheries, tour operators, and the educational community, including private actors. Located at the “southern summit” of the Americas, Puerto Williams, capital of the Chilean Antarctic Province emerges as a global hub for transdisciplinary sub-Antarctic research, equipped with a new center and network of long-term socio-ecological studies. Collaboration with regional, national and international actors will allow the LTSER-Cape Horn network and the Cape Horn Center to: (i) provide critical data, which will open up new opportunities for monitoring climate change and its impact on biodiversity and ecosystems in sub-Antarctic latitudes; (ii) consolidate long-term monitoring, which is an essential component to effectively design mitigation and adaptation actions; (iii) strengthen a local sustainable development model that, associated with the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, contributes from the south of the world, to a biocultural conservation model that meets the needs of socio-economic well-being and environmental sustainability at multiple regional and planetary scales.

PDF (Español (España))
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2021 Ricardo Rozzi, Ramiro D. Crego, Tamara Contador, Elke Schüttler, Sebastian Rosenfeld, Roy Mackenzie, Omar Barroso, Eduardo A. Silva-Rodríguez, Ximena Álvarez-Bustos, Alejandra Silva, Irene Ramírez, Jose Mella, Jorge Herreros, Javier Rendoll Cárcamo, Johanna Marambio, Jaime Ojeda, Felipe Méndez, Kelli P. Moses, James Kennedy, Shaun Rusell, Bernard Goffinet, Leopoldo G. Sancho, Flávio Berchez, Brian Buma, Francisco Aguirre, Laura Sánchez-Jardón, Eduardo Barros, Rodrigo A. Vásquez, Mary T. K. Arroyo, Elie Poulin, Francisco Squeo, Juan J. Armesto, Ándres Mansilla, Francisca Massardo


Download data is not yet available.