Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 42 (4) October 2014 (SPECIAL ISSUE)
Synthesis of the state of knowledge about species richness of macroalgae, macroinvertebrates and fishes in coastal and oceanic waters of Easter and Salas y Gómez islands.
From the beginning of the 19th century on, several small sampling trips as well as large national and international scientific expeditions have been carried out to Easter Island (EI) and Salas y Gómez Island (SGI). The objective of this study is to compile, synthesize and analyze published information about the biodiversity of macroalgae, macroinvertebrates and fishes associated with EI-SGI, updating the state of knowledge and making it available for the development of conservation plans. We searched all the available sources of information, such as scientific publications, scientific expeditions, fisheries data, technical reports, books, databases and online sources. We found 964 species reported within EI-SGI (143 species of macroalgae, 605 macroinvertebrates and 216 fishes), the majority for EI (923); for SGI 171 species have been reported. Species richness has increased over time, without leveling off, as sampling effort increases. However, seamounts and hydrothermal vents have been poorly studied in Chile´s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). A high percentage of endemism has been determined for the majority of the taxonomic groups, with mollusks and poriferans exhibiting the highest levels of endemism (33-34%). Thus, the Rapanuian biogeographic province can be clearly identified, but information to differentiate between EI and SGI, and direct island-specific conservation efforts, is lacking. Nevertheless, the most vulnerable yet unprotected habitats (hydrothermal vents, higher diversity of seamounts size) are located towards the western limit of the EEZ.
Author: Miriam Fernández, Paula Pappalardo, Montserrat C. Rodríguez-Ruíz & Juan Carlos Castilla

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