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Free Content Population Structure, Diets and Biogeographic Relationships of a Rocky Intertidal Fish Assemblage in Central Chile: High Levels of Herbivory in a Temperate System

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Abstract:

Intertidal fishes were sampled in August 1987 using Quinaldine or rotenone from rocky habitats near Viña del Mar, Chile (33°00′S), a region of biogeographic transition between northerly warm temperate and southerly cold temperate faunas. Fishes collected belonged to the following 9 families and 12 species, in decreasing order of abundance: Tripterygion cunninghami (Tripterygiidae), Myxodes viridis (Clinidae), Scartichthys viridis (B1enniidae), Graus nigra (Girellidae), Girella laevifrons (Girellidae), Auchenionchus microcirrhis (Labrisomidae), Aplodactylus punctatus (Aplodactylidae), Sicyases sanguineus (Gobiesocidae), Hypsoblennius sordidus (Blenniidae), Clupea fuegensis (Clupeidae), Auchenionchus variolosus (Labrisomidae), and Ophiogobius jenynsi (Gobiidae). Seven species (and 52% of the total number of individuals sampled) were primarily warm temperate in distribution (M. viridis, S. viridis, G. laevifrons, A. punctatus, A. microcirrhis, H. sordidus, and S. sanguineus), the remainder were primarily cold temperate. Gut content analyses determined that four species (S. viridis, G. laevifrons, S. sanguineus, and A. punctatus) representing 20% of the total number of individuals and 51% of total biomass were primarily herbivorous. All of the primarily herbivorous species had warm-temperate distributions. The present study suggests that intertidal fish herbivory is considerably more important in central Chile than in other known temperate systems.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1990

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