Planktonic diatom assemblage seasonal diversity used to assess environmental health in a coastal wetland of southern Chile
Keywords:coastal wetlands, diatoms, ecological diversities, plankton, river mouth
Although planktonic diatoms are one of the most abundant taxonomic groups in coastal wetlands, their assemblages have not been used to determine the environmental health of these ecosystems. Studies of ecosystem environmental health have been based on other taxonomic groups; we propose that diatom genera diversity represents a viable alternative for this purpose. Thus, our aim was to determine the alpha and beta diversities of the planktonic diatom assemblage present in Caulín Bay, Chiloé Island (41° 49’S; 73° 38’W), southern Chile, during the austral winter and spring of the years 2012 and 2014. Caulín Bay is an important site for aquatic bird observation and conservation, hunting is prohibited on a national scale and, internationally, the site has been declared an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). Our results indicate different diversities between sampling stations, but not between the years studied. In total, we recorded 53 diatom genera, of which the most abundant were Coscinodiscus (21.99%) and Cocconeis (16.23%). The study area presented high genera diversity (i.e., H’(log2) >3.74) and beta diversity indicated that Caulín presents a low level of heterogeneity and is a low genera replacement environment. Consequently, we infer that Caulín Bay is a productive and environmentally stable ecosystem. This leads us to conclude that diatom diversity determination is a viable alternative to establish aquatic ecosystem environmental health and we recommend that future conservation strategies be established for Caulín Bay.
Copyright (c) 2020 Catalina F. Ríos-Henríquez, Norka Fuentes, Claudio Tobar, Jaime Rau, Fabiola Cruces
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication.
- The articles in this journal are published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories, on their website or ResearchGate) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (SeeThe Effect of Open Access).