The work allows learning about the diversity of algae present in Patagonia and seeks to raise awareness about the fragility of high-latitude marine ecosystems.

In Punta Arenas and before a full auditorium, the “Subantarctic Macroalgae Guide” was launched, a free publication that collects part of the marine flora of the Magallanes Region. The book is written in Spanish and English and gathers information on 60 species of macroalgae (15 green, 15 brown and 30 red.)

Through 160 pages, the reader will be able to learn about the biodiversity of species in Patagonia. The reconnaissance guide is aimed at all audiences and presents key information such as geographic distribution, habitat and collection sites. Each page is accompanied by photographs that help to identify the macroalgae.

The work was written by researchers Jocelyn Jofre, Hélène Dubrasquet, Dr. María Eliana Ramírez, Dr. Nelso Navarro and Dr. Erasmo Macaya Horta and was prepared with the material generated in the course “Biodiversity of macroalgae in Patagonia” held the 2018. The printed publication had the financing and editorial advice of the Center for Dynamic Research of High Latitudes Marine Ecosystems (IDEAL) of the Austral University of Chile (UACh).

The book was presented by the Seremi of Sciences, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation (CTCI) of the Southern Macrozone Verónica Vallejos, the deputy director of the IDEAL Center, Dr. Iván Gómez, and the researcher from the University of Magallanes (UMAG), Dr. Nelso Navarro.

“The language of the book is simple and easy to follow. Someone who has this tool in hand will be able to quickly connect with the marine ecosystems of the Magallanes Region. Science is not science if it does not get closer to the community,” assured Seremi Vallejos.

“Currently there is not much information on this type of algae that has been collected by Chilean researchers, so this guide represents a milestone,” said Dr. Gómez, who also highlighted the importance of carrying out similar initiatives. “The contribution of these fundamental organisms, the most important primary producers of the coastal zone, which provide oxygen to the marine system and help mitigate the effects of climate change on the atmosphere, is not always known,” he added.

“Magallanes stands out for being the area with the largest number of algae species described in Chile (about 270) and our guide allows us to recognize the most common and frequent ones on the coasts near Punta Arenas. Several of the species included in the book have a wide distribution, so it is useful for those who live in other areas of the national territory and also in other countries,” concludes Dr. Macaya, academic from the University of Concepción (UDeC), director of Algalab and co-author of the work.

To download the digital version of the guide, click here.