Rising from the ashes: Changes in salmonid fish assemblages after 30 months of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic eruption Article

Lallement, M, Macchi, PJ, Vigliano, P et al. (2016). Rising from the ashes: Changes in salmonid fish assemblages after 30 months of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic eruption . 541 1041-1051. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.09.156

cited authors

  • Lallement, M; Macchi, PJ; Vigliano, P; Juarez, S; Rechencq, M; Baker, M; Bouwes, N; Crowl, T

fiu authors

abstract

  • Events such as volcanic eruptions may act as disturbance agents modifying the landscape spatial diversity and increasing environmental instability. On June 4, 2011 the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex located on Chile (2236 m.a.s.l., 40° 02' 24? S- 70° 14' 26? W) experience a rift zone eruption ejecting during the first day 950 million metric tons into the atmosphere. Due to the westerly winds predominance, ash fell differentially upon 24 million ha of Patagonia Argentinean, been thicker deposits accumulated towards the West. In order to analyze changes on stream fish assemblages we studied seven streams 8, 19 and 30 months after the eruption along the ash deposition gradient, and compare those data to pre eruption ones. Habitat features and structure of the benthic macroinvertebrate food base of fish was studied. After the eruption, substantial environmental changes were observed in association with the large amount of ash fallout. In western sites, habitat loss due to ash accumulation, changes in the riparian zone and morphology of the main channels were observed. Turbidity was the water quality variable which reflected the most changes throughout time, with NTU values decreasing sharply from West to East sites. In west sites, increased Chironomid densities were recorded 8 months after the initial eruption aswell as lowEPT index values. These relationships were reversed in the less affected streams farther away from the volcano. Fish assemblages were greatly influenced both by habitat and macroinvertebrate changes. The eruption brought about an initial sharp decline in fish densities and the almost total loss of young of the year in themostwestern streams affecting recruitment. This effect diminished rapidly with distance fromthe emission center. Thirty months after the eruption, environmental changes are still occurring as a consequence of basin wide ash remobilization and transport.

publication date

  • January 15, 2016

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 1041

end page

  • 1051

volume

  • 541