MUSEO ARGENTINO DE CIENCIAS NATURALES "BERNARDINO RIVADAVIA"
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
The subtidal macrobenthic assemblages of Bahía San Sebastián (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina)
LÓPEZ GAPPA, J.; SUEIRO, M.C.
Lugar: Berlin; Año: 2007 vol. 30 p. 679 - 679
Bahía San Sebastián (BSS), a shallow and protected environment on the eastern coast of Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), is a prime habitat for several species of nearctic migratory birds that visit the area during summer to feed in its huge intertidal mudflats. The area has also great economic value due to the extraction and transport of hydrocarbons. Twenty-three dredge stations were analysed and presence/absence data were used to classify stations and species by cluster analysis. Two algae and 113 taxa of macrobenthic invertebrates from 12 animal phyla were identified. Species richness was one order of magnitude higher (Mean: 29.0 sp.st-1) in stations located outside or in the southern unprotected section of BSS than in most muddy or sandy stations within the bay (Mean: 3.7 sp.st-1). Hard bottom stations outside BSS were dominated by a rich assemblage of sessile filter-feeders, mainly bryozoans, hydrozoans, ascidians, sponges, and the bivalve Aulacomya atra. Soft bottom areas inside BSS were mainly populated by relatively few species of deposit-feeders, such as the orbiniid polychaete Phylo felix, which was particularly frequent and widespread. Shells of the clam Mulinia edulis are very common, representing one of the few hard substrata available for sessile species on soft bottoms. Epibenthic assemblages within BSS were dominated by the detritivorous isopod Serolis paradoxa and the crab Eurypodius latreillei. The macrobenthic fauna of BSS can be regarded as typical of the Magellan region, showing affinities with those of other localities around Tierra del Fuego, the Straits of Magellan and the southern Chilean fjords.