Polar Biology

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 365–375 | Cite as

Fish early life stages associated with giant kelp forests in sub-Antarctic coastal waters (Beagle Channel, Argentina)

  • Daniel O. BrunoEmail author
  • Mariela F. Victorio
  • Eduardo M. Acha
  • Daniel A. Fernández
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to assess seasonal and spatial variations in fish larvae abundance between areas with Macrocystis pyrifera kelp forests and areas without them off the coast of the Beagle Channel. Monthly plankton sampling at three sites was performed from June 2014 to May 2016 in two areas of each site. One area was defined along the offshore margin (edge of the forests) of M. pyrifera kelp forests and the other area parallel to the forests but 200 m offshore (out of the forests). To test for spatial and temporal differences in the abundance of fish larvae, a multiple-hypothesis model approach was adopted by fitting generalized models (GLMs) with the abundance of fishes as the response variable and possible combinations of seasons, sites, areas, and water parameters as explanatory variables. Ten fish taxa in larval stage were collected of which Patagonotothen spp. larvae were the dominant group. Season and area affected most the abundance of fish larvae along the coast of the Beagle Channel. High abundance of fish larvae was collected in spring of both years with a second peak in autumn. Harpagifer bispinis and Patagonotothen spp. peaked in spring, while Careproctus pallidus peaked in autumn. In every season of the two years sampled, the abundance of fish larvae was higher at the edge of the forests than out of them. The importance as nursery ground of M. pyrifera kelp forests for early stages of fishes that inhabit the Beagle Channel is discussed.


Ichthyoplankton Macrocystis pyrifera Sub-Antarctic fishes Coastal environment Nursery 



We express our gratitude to authorities of “Secretaría de Ambiente, Desarrollo Sostenible y Cambio Climático” (Argentina) and of Administración de Parques Nacionales (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina) for sampling permissions (RSPAyS N° 0298/2016 and 099-CPA-2016, respectively); to M. Pérez, L. Pagnossin, J. Rojo, and T. Chalde for field assistance; and to S.G. Ceballos for assistance with scoring and analyzing DNA sequences. We also acknowledge D. Piepenburg, M. La Mesa, and two anonymous reviewers for their useful comments and suggestions on an early draft, and to F. Sola for helpful revision of grammar style. This study was supported by grants from Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET-Argentina) PIP 0321 2014-2016 and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT-FONCyT, Argentina) PICT 1596 2012-2016; and partially supported by PICT 0900/2015 grant (ANPCyT-FONCyT, Argentina). D.O.B was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from CONICET (Argentina).

Supplementary material

300_2017_2196_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 24 kb)


  1. Adami ML, Gordillo S (1999) Structure and dynamics of the biota associated with Macrocystis pyrifera (Phaeophyta) from the Beagle Channel Tierra del Fuego. Sci Mar 63:183–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adreani MS, Erisman BE, Warner RR (2004) Courtship and spawning behavior in the California Sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher; (Pisces: Labridae). Environ Biol Fish 71:13–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bakun A (1996) Patterns in the ocean. Ocean processes and marine population dynamics. University of California Sea Grant, California, USA, in cooperation with Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas de Noroeste, La Paz, Baja California Sur, MéxicoGoogle Scholar
  4. Balbontín F (2008) Ichthyoplankton in the austral Chilean channels and fjords. In: Silva N, Palma S (eds) Progress in the oceanographic knowledge of Chilean interior waters, from Puerto Montt to Cape Horn. Comité Oceanográfico Nacional, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, pp 115–120Google Scholar
  5. Balbontin C, Campodonico G, Guzman M (1979) Description of egg and larvae of species of Careproctus (Pisces: Liparidae) commensals of Paralomis granulosa and Lithodes antarctica (Crustacea: Lithodidae). Ans Inst Pat Punta Arenas (Chile) 10:235–243Google Scholar
  6. Balestrini C, Manzella G, Lovrich GA (1998) Simulación de corrientes en el canal Beagle y Bahía Ushuaia, mediante un modelo bidimensional. Inf Téc Nº 98 Servicio de Hidrografía Naval: 1–58Google Scholar
  7. Balon EK (1975) Reproductive guilds of fishes: a proposal and definition. J Fish Res Board Can 32:821–864CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Basedow SL, Eiane K, Tverberg V, Spindler M (2004) Advection of zooplankton in an Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Svalbard). Est Coast Shelf Sci 60:113–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bodkin JL (1988) Effects of kelp forest removal on associated fish assemblages in central California. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 117:227–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brickle P, Laptikhovsky V, Arkhipkin A (2011) The reproductive biology of a shallow water morid (Salilota australis Günther, 1878), around the Falkland Islands. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 94:102–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2002) Model selection and multimodel inference: a practical information theoretic approach. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Burnham KP, Anderson DR (2004) Multimodel inference: understanding AIC and BIC in model selection. Sociol Methods Res 33:261–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Carr MH (1991) Habitat selection and recruitment of an assemblage of temperate zone reef fishes. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 146:113–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Castilla JC (1985) Food webs and functional aspects of the kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, community in the Beagle Channel, Chile. In: Siegfried WR, Condy PR, Laws RM (eds) Antarctic nutrient cycles and food webs. Springer, Berlin, pp 407–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Crawley MJ (2005) Statistics: an introduction using R. Wiley, ChichesterCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dayton PK (1985) Ecology of kelp communities. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 16:215–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Duggins DO, Simenstad CA, Estes JA (1989) Magnification of secondary production by kelp detritus in coastal marine ecosystems. Science 245:101–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dunton KH, Schell DM (1987) Dependence of consumers on macroalgal (Laminaria solidungula) carbon in an arctic kelp community: δ13C evidence. Mar Biol 93:615–625CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ehrlich MD, Sánchez RP, de Ciechomski JD, Machinandiarena L, Pájaro M (1999) Ichthyoplankton composition, distribution and abundance on the Southern Patagonian Shelf and adjacent waters. INIDEP Doc Cient 5:37–65Google Scholar
  20. Erisman BE, Allen LG (2006) Reproductive behaviour of a temperate serranid fish, Paralabrax clathratus (Girard), from Santa Catalina Island, California, U.S.A. J Fish Biol 68:157–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Franklin AB, Shenk TM, Anderson DR, Burnham KP (2001) Statistical model selection: an alternative to null hypothesis testing. In: Shenk TM, Franklin AB (eds) Modelling in natural resource management. Development, interpretation and application. Island Press, Washington, DC, pp 75–90Google Scholar
  22. Fuiman LA (2002) Special considerations of fish eggs and larvae. In: Fuiman LA, Werner RG (eds) Fishery science: the unique contributions of early life stages. Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp 1–32Google Scholar
  23. Gutierrez A, Correa T, Muñoz V, Santibañez A, Marcos R, Cáceres C, Buschmann AH (2006) Farming of the giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera in southern Chile for development of novel food products. Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium. Springer, Netherlands, pp 33–41Google Scholar
  24. Hall TA (1999) BioEdit: a user-friendly biological sequence alignment editor and analysis program for Windows 95/98/NT. Nucl Acids Symp Ser 41:95–98Google Scholar
  25. Hoffmann A, Santelices B (1997) Marine flora of Central Chile. Ediciones Universidad Católica de Chile, SantiagoGoogle Scholar
  26. Holbrook SJ, Carr MH, Schmitt RJ, Coyer JA (1990) Effect of giant kelp on local abundance of reef fishes: the importance of ontogenetic resource requirements. Bull Mar Sci 47:104–114Google Scholar
  27. Houde ED (2002) Mortality. In: Fuiman LA, Werner RG (eds) Fishery science: the unique contributions of early life stages. Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp 1–32Google Scholar
  28. Johnson JB, Omland KS (2004) Model selection in ecology and evolution. Trends Ecol Evol 19:101–108CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Jones CG, Lawton JH, Shachak M (1994) Organisms as ecosystem engineers. Oikos 69:373–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kellermann A (1990) Catalogue of early life stages of Antarctic Notothenioid fishes. Ber Polarforsch 67:45–136Google Scholar
  31. Konar B, Edwards M, Efird T (2015) Local habitat and regional oceanographic influence on fish distribution patterns in the diminishing kelp forests across the Aleutian Archipelago. Environ Biol Fishes 98:1935–1951CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Koubbi P, Duhamel G, Camus P (1990) Early life stages of Notothenioidei from the Kerguelen Islands. Cybium 14:225–250Google Scholar
  33. Koubbi P, Duhamel G, Hebert C (2001) Seasonal relative abundance of fish larvae inshore at Iles Kerguelen, Southern Ocean. Antarct Sci 13:385–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kristoffersen JB, Salvanes AGV (1998) Effects of formaldehyde and ethanol preservation on body and otoliths of Maurolicus muelleri and Benthosema glaciale. Sarsia 83:95–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Krug JM, Steele MA (2013) Larval exposure to shared oceanography does not cause spatially correlated recruitment in kelp forest fishes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 477:177–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. La Mesa M, Vera-Duarte J, Landaeta MF (2017) Early life history traits of Harpagifer antarcticus (Harpagiferidae, Notothenioidei) from the South Shetland Islands during austral summer. Polar Biol. doi: 10.1007/s00300-017-2093-4 Google Scholar
  37. Landaeta MF, Bustos CA, Palacios-Fuentes P, Rojas P, Balbontín F (2011) Distribución delictioplancton en la Patagonia austral de Chile: potenciales efectos del deshielo de Campos de Hielo Sur. Lat Am J Aquat Res 39:236–249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Landaeta MF, López G, Suárez-Donoso N, Bustos CA, Balbontín F (2012) Larval fish distribution, growth and feeding in Patagonian fjords: potential effects of freshwater discharge. Environ Biol Fishes 93:73–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Leal E, Canales TM, Aranis A, Gonzáles M (2011) Actividad reproductiva y longitud de madurez de sardina austral Sprattus fuegensis en el mar interior de Chiloé, Chile. Rev Biol Mar Oceanogr 46:43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lloris D, Rucabado J (1991) Ictiofauna del Canal Beagle (Tierra del Fuego), aspectos ecológicos y análisis biogeográfico. Instituto Español de Oceanografía, MadridGoogle Scholar
  41. López HL, García ML, San Román NA (1996) Lista comentada de la ictiofauna del Canal Beagle, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. CADIC, UshuaiaGoogle Scholar
  42. Lovrich GA, Vinuesa JH (1999) Reproductive potential of the lithodids Lithodes santolla and Paralomis granulosa (Anomura, Decapoda) in the Beagle Channel, Argentina. Sci Mar 63:355–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mann KH (2000) Ecology of coastal waters: with implications for management. Blackwell Science Inc., MaldenGoogle Scholar
  44. Mendoza ML, Nizovoy A (2000) Géneros de macroalgas marinas de la Argentina, fundamentalmente de Tierra del Fuego. Poder Legislativo de la Provincia de Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur, UshuaiaGoogle Scholar
  45. Miller SA, Dikes DD, Polesky HF (1988) A simple salting procedure for extracting DNA from human nucleated cells. Nucleic Acids Res 16:1215CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  46. Moreno CA, Jara HF (1984) Ecological studies on fish fauna associated with Macrocystis pyrifera belts in the south Fueguian Island, Chile. Mar Ecol Progr Ser 15:99–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Nelson PA (2001) Behavioral ecology of young-of-the-year kelp rockfish, Sebastes atrovirens Jordan and Gilbert (Pisces: Scorpaenidae). J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 256:33–50CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Piola AR, Rivas A (1997) Corrientes en la Plataforma Continental. In: Boschi EE (ed) El Mar Argentino y sus Recursos Pesqueros, vol 1. Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pequero (INIDEP), Mar del Plata, pp 119–132Google Scholar
  49. Porter SC, Stuiver M, Heusser CJ (1984) Holocene sea-level changes along the Strait of Magellan and Beagle Channel, southernmost South America. Quat Res 22:59–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. R Core Team (2016) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria.
  51. Rae G (1991) Biología reproductiva comparada de dos especies de nototénidos del Canal Beagle, Argentina. Tesis Doctoral, Universidad Nacional de La PlataGoogle Scholar
  52. Rae GA, Calvo J (1995) Annual gonadal cycle and reproduction in Patagonotothen tessellata (Richardson, 1845) (Nototheniidae: Pisces) from the Beagle Channel, Argentina. J Appl Ichthyol 11:60–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rae GA, Calvo J (1996) Histological analysis of gonadal development in Patagonotothen tessellata (Richardson 1845) (Nototheniidae: Pisces) from the Beagle Channel, Argentina. J Appl Ichthyol 12:31–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Raya Rey A, Schiavini ACM (2000) Distribution, abundance and associations of seabirds in the Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Polar Biol 23:338–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Raya Rey A, Schiavini ACM (2001) Filling the groove: energy flow to seabirds in the Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Ecol Aust 11:115–122Google Scholar
  56. Ríos C, Mutschke E (2009) Aporte al conocimiento de Macrocystis pyrifera: revisión bibliográfica sobre los “huirales” distribuidos en la región de Magallanes. An Inst Patagon (Chile) 37:97–102Google Scholar
  57. Ríos C, Arntz WE, Gerdes D, Mutschke E, Montiel A (2007) Spatial and temporal variability of the benthic assemblages associated to the holdfasts of the kelp Macrocystis pyrifera in the Straits of Magellan, Chile. Polar Biol 31:89–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Salvanes AGV, Aksnes D, Fosså JH, Giske J (1995) Simulated carrying capacities of fish on Norwegian fjords. Fish Oceanogr 4:17–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sánchez RP, Remeslo A, Madirolas A, de Ciechomski JD (1995) Distribution and abundance of post-larvae and juveniles of the Patagonian sprat, Sprattus fuegensis, and related hydrographic conditions. Fish Res 23:47–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Santelices B, Ojeda FP (1984) Population dynamics of coastal forests of Macrocystis pyrifera in Puerto Toro, Isla Navarino, Southern Chile. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 14:175–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Schiavini ACM, Goodall RNP, Lescrauwaet AK, Alonso MK (1997) Food habits of the Peales Dolphin, Logenorhynchus australis; review and new information. Rep Int Whale Commun 47:827–834Google Scholar
  62. Searles RB, Leister GL, Brauner JF (1974) Seaweeds of southern South America. Antarct J US 9:23–24Google Scholar
  63. Somerton DA, Donaldson W (1998) Parasitism of the golden king crab, Lithodes aequispinus, by two species of snailfish, genus Careproctus. Fish Bull 96:871–884Google Scholar
  64. Steneck RS, Graham MH, Bourque BJ, Corbett D, Erlandson JM, Estes JA, Tegner MJ (2002) Kelp forest ecosystems: biodiversity, stability, resilience and future. Environ Conserv 29:436–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Tamura K, Stecher G, Peterson D, Filipski A, Kumar S (2013) MEGA6: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 6.0. Mol Biol Evol 30:2725–2729CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  66. Vanella FA, Fernández DA, Romero MC, Calvo J (2007) Changes in the fish fauna associated with a sub-Antarctic Macrocystis pyrifera kelp forest in response to canopy removal. Polar Biol 30:449–457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Venables WN, Ripley BD (2002) Modern applied statistics with S-Plus. Springer, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. White MG, Burren PJ (1992) Reproduction and larval growth of Harpagifer antarcticus Nybelin (Pisces, Notothenioidei). Antarct Sci 4:421–430Google Scholar
  69. Wu Y, Hanna ChG, O’Flaherty-Sproul M, Thupaki P (2017) Representing kelp forests in a tidal circulation model. J Mar Syst 169:73–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zenteno JI, Bustos CA, Landaeta MF (2014) Larval growth, condition and fluctuating asymmetry in the otoliths of a mesopelagic fish in an area influenced by a large Patagonian glacier. Mar Biol Res 10:504–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel O. Bruno
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mariela F. Victorio
    • 1
  • Eduardo M. Acha
    • 3
    • 4
  • Daniel A. Fernández
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratorio de Ecología, Fisiología y Evolución de Organismos Acuáticos (LEFyE)Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (CADIC-CONICET)UshuaiaArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciencias Polares, Ambiente y Recursos NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de Tierra del Fuego (ICPA-UNTDF)UshuaiaArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC-UNMdP-CONICET)Mar del PlataArgentina
  4. 4.Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo Pesquero (INIDEP)Mar del PlataArgentina

Personalised recommendations