The Metapopulation Ecology and Genetics team is studying the main processes determining the distribution and abundance of coastal organisms in central Chile.
The presence or absence of coastal species and trends and variations in their abundance – from place to place and time to time – depend on the attributes of individual organisms and their interaction with each other and the environment. Our group employs three interrelated approaches to understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of coastal populations: (1) description of patterns of distribution and abundance of key and exploited species, both reproductive adults and juveniles, (b) species biological interactions (such as predation, competition, facilitation,) which can help explain population patterns, and (3) identification of genetic indicators of the geographical connectivity between populations. We use intertidal and subtidal field observations of several exploited (loco, keyhole limpet, sea-urchins, fish and macroalgae) and non-exploited (such as small intertidal mussels and barnacles) coastal species collected both in natural and artificial habitats. Our results are expected to have a direct impact on the optimization of management and conservation plans in central Chile.