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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 418:17-23 (2010)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08830

Effects of rocky shore coseismic uplift and the 2010 Chilean mega-earthquake on intertidal biomarker species

Juan Carlos Castilla1,*, Patricio H. Manríquez2,3, Andrés Camaño4

1Departamento de Ecología y Centro FONDAP de Ecología y Biodiversidad, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Casilla 114-D, Santiago, Chile
2Instituto de Biología Marina ‘Dr. Jürgen Winter’ and 3Laboratorio Costero de Recursos Acuáticos de Calfuco, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile
4Arauco, Avenida El Golf 150, Casilla 880, Santiago, Chile

ABSTRACT: The devastating earthquake (moment magnitude: 8.8 MW) that struck Chile on 27 February 2010 and the following tsunami waves produced widespread damage, coastal coseismic uplifts, and large-scale mortality of rocky intertidal and shallow subtidal organisms. The effects were particularly remarkable around the Gulf of Arauco, Santa María Island and the Bay of Concepción (~36 to 38°S). Measurements of rocky intertidal and shallow subtidal belt-forming (biomarker) species conducted a few weeks after the earthquake indicated coastal uplifts ranging from ~0.2 to 3.1 m, which are similar to uplifts estimated by FitzRoy (1839; Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, Vol. II) and Darwin (1839; Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, Vol. III) after the 1835 Chilean earthquake. In major uplifted sites, there was massive mortality of the main intertidal and shallow subtidal belt-forming species, such as lithothamnioid melobesioid coralline algae, brown kelps and mussels, and dramatic changes in the marine rocky intertidal ecosystem. We suggest that in the southeastern Pacific, drastic and rapid coastal deformations seriously impinge on rocky shore populations, communities and ecosystems and may have significance for management and conservation practices, as for example in connection with alterations of parental stocks and recruitment rates.


KEY WORDS: Drastic events · Coastal deformation · Intertidal biomarkers · Massive mortality


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Cite this article as: Castilla JC, Manríquez PH, Camaño A (2010) Effects of rocky shore coseismic uplift and the 2010 Chilean mega-earthquake on intertidal biomarker species. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 418:17-23. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps08830

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