Reproduction strategies of Macrocystis pyrifera (Phaeophyta) in Southern Chile: The importance of population dynamics

  • Alejandro H. Buschmann
  • Cristina Moreno
  • Julio A. Vásquez
  • María C. Hernández-González


Macrocystis pyrifera is an ecologically dominant species along the temperate Northern and Southern Pacific Coast of America, showing some similarities and differences at population and community level. In general, this kelp is reported to be reproductive all year round. Annual populations present in wave-protected areas of southern Chile suggest that the reproductive strategies of this population can be different. In this study we explore the reproductive strategies of annual M. pyrifera present in wave-protected areas and perennial populations encountered in exposed areas of southern Chile (41S). Our results show that M. pyrifera present in wave-exposed locations has a reproductive strategy that is similar to populations in the northern hemisphere. These populations reproduce all year round and their strategy is to produce high numbers of sporophylls and ensure that most of them (over 90%) become sporogenous. On the other hand, the protected populations with an annual life cycle, produce more spores per area of sorus. In a few months, they are able to produce sufficient propagules to recolonize areas before the adult plants disappear in autumn.

Key words

Macrocystispyrifera reproduction strategies southern Chile spore production sporophylls 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro H. Buschmann
    • 1
  • Cristina Moreno
    • 1
  • Julio A. Vásquez
    • 2
    • 3
  • María C. Hernández-González
    • 1
  1. 1.i∼mar, Universidad de Los LagosPuerto MonttChile
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias del MarUniversidad Católica del NorteCoquimboChile
  3. 3.Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Zonas Áridas (CEAZA)CoquimboChile

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