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Volume 44 - Number 1 - 2009


Microbiological effects produced by a coastal upwelling off central Chile

Juan Kuznar1, Juan C. Espinoza1, Sergio Avaria2, Mauricio Valenzuela2, Camila Pavez1 y Miguel Egaña1


1Laboratorio de Bioquímica y Virología. Departamento de Química y Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Valparaíso. Gran Bretaña 1111, Valparaíso, Chile

2Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y de Recursos Naturales, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Casilla 5080, Reñaca, Viña del Mar, Chile




An upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon which produces a nutrients enrichment of euphotic zones resulting in a phytoplankton bloom crucial for productivity in many coastal zones in Chile. In this research we present information concerning the microbiological effect of an upwelling event. In regard to other studies performed in Chile, we include a novel variable: the changes in virus concentrations in relation with the upwelling and the abundances of phytoplankton and bacterioplankton. The samples were collected at Valparaiso bay (32º57'S; 71º34'W) during spring 2006. Species composition and high phytoplankton concentrations are according with an upwelling event. After the upwelling, phytoplankton, bacteria and virus increased 24, 6 and 15 times, respectively. Shortly after, phytoplankton and bacterioplankton declined but, in contrast, virus increased 5 more times. This latter is consistent with the idea that virus is important, at least, in the decline of the bacterioplankton concentration


Key words: Nutrient enrichment, phytoplankton, bacteria, virus



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