Spatial and temporal variability in subtidal macroinvertebrates diversity patterns in a management and exploitation area for benthic resources (MEABRs)

Document Type


Date of Publication


Publication Title

Ocean & Coastal Management

First Page


Last Page



Diversity and biological variability are key attributes to maintain a viable life system in the marine benthic zone and this balance is heavily affected by human activities. In Chile, Management and Exploitation Areas for Benthic Resources (MEABRs) are coastal areas administrated by local fishermen, which regulate the extraction of species of commercial of commercial importance (e.g. Concholepas concholepas, Fissurella spp. Loxechinus albus), key components of food webs. Both spatial and temporal impacts these species have on the structure and dynamics of the subtidal community are poorly understood. In one of the oldest MEABRs of Chile we evaluated spatial and temporal effects of controlled extraction of commercial species on subtidal macro invertebrate's diversity. Our results indicate that in a spatial scale MEABRs showed increased species richness, and important temporal changes in diversity and species composition from bivalves, ascidians and gastropods to cnidarians, sponges and bryozoans. We discuss possible mechanisms associated with the combined effects of fishery management and predation by key species on temporal composition variation in the subtidal macro invertebrate assemblage in this regulated area.