Spatial variability of intertidal benthic assemblages in Yendegaia Bay, Beagle Channel, sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion.
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marine invertebrates
environmental heterogeneity
species richness
community structure
spacial scale

How to Cite

Rodríguez Provoste, J. P., Rosenfeld, S. ., Bahamonde, F. ., Rozzi, R. ., & Mansilla, A. (2021). Spatial variability of intertidal benthic assemblages in Yendegaia Bay, Beagle Channel, sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion. Anales Del Instituto De La Patagonia, 49.


The sub-Antarctic Magellanic ecoregion has an extensive and heterogeneous coast of fjords and channels, with a large extension of intertidal ecosystems subject to the effect of characteristic high latitude areas extreme climatic conditions. Recent studies suggest that the structure of intertidal assemblages in extreme environments, such as sub-Antarctic and Antarctic, exhibit high horizontal and vertical biological variations that are accentuated at fine spatial scales of observation. We think this could be a general pattern in high-latitude intertidal habitats of the southern hemisphere. For this reason, in this work we test the hypothesis that the horizontal and vertical variability of intertidal benthic assemblages in extreme Sub-Antarctic environments is greater at fine scales. In March-April 2017 we analyzed the spatial variability of the intertidal benthic assemblages of Yendegaia Bay, Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, as a model, through a nested design with different spatial scales (centimeters to kilometers). The results of the variance and pseudo-variance components, showed an important horizontal and vertical variation at fine scales. We identified six communities with a marked vertical zonation, being the most representative species Perumytilus purpuratus, Porphyra/Pyropia sp1. and Ulva flexuosa. These species showed a high vertical variation in fine scales. Although the hypothesis tested is fulfilled, we think it is likely that local physical factors in the habitat related to abiotic changes are influencing the spatial variations at small scales in the communities of Yendegaia Bay. Therefore, we propose that when doing this type of studies, it is necessary to consider temporal variability and raw environmental data, which will allow us to know exactly which are the local factors that influence the spatial variation of the sub-Antarctic intertidal benthic assemblages. The information obtained in this study has the proposes additional ecological factors that could influence the distribution and abundance of intertidal benthic species and assemblages in Magellanic sub-Antarctic ecosystems.
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