Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 575–585 | Cite as

Evaluation of kelp harvest strategies: recovery of Lessonia berteroana (Phaeophyceae, Laminariales) in Pan de Azucar, Atacama, Chile

  • Renato WestermeierEmail author
  • Pedro Murúa
  • David J. Patiño
  • Gabriela Manoli
  • Dieter G. Müller


The brown alga, Lessonia berteroana, is the most exploited seaweed in South America, with majority of landings in northern Chile. We conducted population studies in a L. berteroana bed at the Pan de Azucar National Park in order to evaluate recovery potential under different harvest schemes. In an intact sub-population, L. berteroana size tendency varies with season, between median values of 150 cm in early spring and 40 cm in summer. Size is inversely correlated with density, which increases in summer due to a major recruitment phase (up to 40 ind m−2) and decreases in winter, with adult individuals (5 ind m−2) dominating. Size and recruitment showed a rapid increase in totally harvested areas and on artificial substrata. However, after summer harvesting, first recruits appeared after only one month in natural beds, while they needed up to five months on concrete blocks. Overall growth in wild populations was lowest, suggesting a strong dependence on density. Major thallus growth occurred in recruits from total harvest in autumn and from concrete blocks. We discuss these different recovery patterns and compare them with other commercial kelps in Chile, where similar approaches have been performed, expecting that they will help to improve Lessonia management in northern Chile.


Phaeophyceae Population dynamics Management techniques Kelp harvesting Huiro negro 



Laboratory and field support by L.A. Muñoz, C. Atero, and J. Martinez (UACh) and unrestricted access to the Pan de Azucar Lodge provided by the CONAF personnel are acknowledged. Thanks are also due to Felix Leiva (Radboud University Nijmegen) for his support to set-up our linear mixed models, and to the two anonymous reviewers who helped to improve the earlier version of this manuscript. This work was done in the framework of the project FIC 2013 33-91-243 (GORE Atacama), granted to the Universidad Austral de Chile (GM and RW). PM is currently funded by CONICYT (Becas Chile 72130422) for PhD studies at the University of Aberdeen.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Macroalgas, Instituto de AcuiculturaUniversidad Austral de ChilePuerto MonttChile
  2. 2.Aberdeen Oomycete Laboratory, International Centre for Aquaculture Research and DevelopmentUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK
  3. 3.The Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Culture Collection for Algae and ProtozoaObanUK
  4. 4.Escuela de Ingenieria Civil IndustrialUniversidad Austral de ChilePuerto MonttChile
  5. 5.Fachbereich Biologie der Universität KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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