Ministerio del Medio Ambiente

Santiago, Chile

Ministerio del Medio Ambiente

Santiago, Chile
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Leon-Munoz J.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente | Marce R.,Catalan Institute for Water Research | Iriarte J.L.,Austral University of Chile
New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research | Year: 2013

Patagonian fjord ecosystems might experience new scenarios due to climate variability (decreasing annual precipitation and glacier melting) in the short term. Herein, we studied the seasonal variability of the Puelo River regime (North Patagonia, 1944-2007, mean streamflow: 650 m3/s) and analyses its influence on surface salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen in the well-stratified Reloncaví Fjord (41.5°S). Our results show a decreasing trend in the Puelo River streamflow since the late 1970s that is frequently associated with regimes lacking a defined interannual pattern. During the study period, years with prolonged periods of low streamflows in autumn and winter were common. On a scale of hydrological years, the influence of the Puelo River on the surface layer of the Reloncaví Fjord varied strongly in function of both the river's streamflow level and regimes. Years with markedly mixed regimes (rainfall/snowmelt), high autumn and spring streamflows (Q>1000 m3/s) resulted in significantly cooler, fresher conditions in the fjord. These temporal patterns, in turn, determined high, constant saturations (100%) and concentrations (10 mg/l) of surface dissolved oxygen. By contrast, the discharge pattern of 2007 led to stable, low streamflows in autumn and winter (Q=250 m3/s) that did not influence temperature or salinity. A significant association was found between the temporal variability of the salinity (increasing from 6 to 28 psu) and low dissolved oxygen saturation (<50%) and concentration (<5 mg/l), largely dominated by wind events. © 2013 The Royal Society of New Zealand.


Squeo F.A.,University of La Serena | Squeo F.A.,Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity IEB | Estevez R.A.,University of La Serena | Estevez R.A.,Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity IEB | And 7 more authors.
Plant Ecology and Diversity | Year: 2012

Background: Chile is committed to extending its National System of Protected Areas (NSPA), focusing on eco-regions whose ecosystems are currently under-represented in the NSPA. A newly proposed law aims to create a Service of Biodiversity and Protected Areas that would unify the terrestrial and marine systems. The proposed law would allow the inclusion of private protected areas.Aims: We evaluate the current status of the conservation areas and propose an eco-regional plan that would allow reaching the overall target to bring 10% of all natural ecosystems under protection.Methods: A GAP analysis for all Chilean terrestrial and marine environments considered two protection scenarios: (1) public protected areas only, and (2) a combination of public and private protected areas. Afterwards, a multi-scale MARXAN assessment including 1367 conservation objects was carried out to identify suitable protected areas.Results: Chile does not meet its conservation target in four out of its 11 terrestrial eco-regions and in none of its eight marine eco-regions. To achieve the target of having 10% of all natural ecosystems (and conservation objects identified within them) under protection, an expansion of terrestrial public and private protected areas that currently cover 21.4% of Chile is required to reach 37.5%; marine protected areas need to cover 11.8% of Chile's exclusive economic zone.Conclusions: The under-represented conservation objects in protected areas in the highly biodiverse Mediterranean region require a proactive strategy towards establishing private protected areas. The proposed conservation law represents a first step in the right direction to extend the NSPA. © 2012 Copyright 2012 Botanical Society of Scotland and Taylor & Francis.


Mena-Carrasco M.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente | Mena-Carrasco M.,Centro FONDAP CIGIDEN | Saide P.,University of Iowa | Delgado R.,Direccion Meteorologica de Chile | And 5 more authors.
Urban Climate | Year: 2014

Santiago, an emerging megacity of 7 million plus inhabitants has shown great improvement in its air quality reducing PM2.5 concentrations from 69μg/m3 in 1989 to 24μg/m3 in 2013 with a comprehensive air quality management strategy. An operational air quality forecasting model that has shown great potential in predicting air quality episodes is used to establish how the climate A1B scenario can impact the frequency of bad air days. In comparison to 2011, in 2050 extreme air quality episodes will be reduced in 20%. WRF-Chem is used to evaluate the effect of anthropogenic emissions on the regional climate including aerosol radiative feedbacks for October-November 2008. Anthropogenic emissions of sulfur and black carbon show different geographical patterns which result in local cooling (0.2-1°C) in coastal Chile, due to large sources of SO2. Central Chile, where most of the population of the country lives, shows transportation of black carbon emissions into the Andes mountain range, resulting in local warming of 0.4°C. While global forcings may cause regional heating for 2050, reducing current black carbon emissions in Central Chile can reduce anthropogenic warming with immediate benefits to the regional climate, and simultaneously reducing local air pollution. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Flores-Meza S.,University of Chile | Katunaric-Nunez M.,Seccion Biodiversidad y Recursos Naturales Renovables | Rovira-Soto J.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente | Rebolledo-Gonzalez M.,University of Chile
Revista Chilena de Historia Natural | Year: 2013

Several studies reveal that the richness of fauna declines with urbanization- being able to live into urban areas, such as birds, mammals, and herpetofauna. This research aims to be the fi rst one in estimating indirectly the potential urban fauna richness in Santiago. In order to achieve this, a multicriteria analysis was conducted based on fi ve factors (human disturbance, energy present in the system, heterogeneity of land uses, complexity of land uses, and natural areas), which contribute to the fauna richness along with their respective relative weights. Thus, a potential fauna richness index (PFRI) was generated, whose mapping allowed the identifi cation of favorable areas for the fauna richness (FAFR). In addition, the effect of a gradient of urbanization on FAFR was evaluated, the connectivity between FAFR was generated, and also the PFRI over the green areas, which belong to the urban area, was analyzed. As a result, in the urban area, the highest PFRI was displayed in the municipalities of Lampa, Lo Barnechea, Vitacura, and Peñalolén, followed by San Bernardo, Puente Alto, Pudahuel, Las Condes y Quilicura. Connectivity between FAFR was located north-east of Santiago city and near the Andes. Public green areas showed a surface and a PFRI with low value, in contrast to private green areas, located north-east with the higher values. Additionally, there is no perceivable effecton the PFRI due to the gradient of urbanization. Perhaps it is because, near to the limit of the urban area, there are highly densifi ed natural patches. Consequently, the urban areas in Santiago would not help increasing the fauna richness, being the most affected species those that inhabit in the ground. Finally, at the moment of evaluation of the fauna richness, not only a landscape study should be conducted, but also the local habitat characteristics should be incorporated, among which highlights the surface of the green areas. Also it is necessary to carry out an urban landscape planning, which leads to the connectivity between natural patches and green areas. This planning would allow the entry of fauna that circulates around urban areas, and thus would contribute to the improvement of biodiversity. © Sociedad de Biologia de Chile.


Ordonez C.,University of Chile | de la Fuente A.,University of Chile | Diaz-Palma P.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2015

The context of this study is salty lagoons a few centimeters deep that are found in the arid region of the Andes Mountains in South America. The trophic structure of these aquatic ecosystems is supported by microalgae and photosynthetic bacteria located in the upper part of the sediment, and wind is the primary driver of mass and momentum transport through the water-sediment interface (WSI). This study proposes and validates, based on laboratory experiments, a simple algebraic expression computing dissolved oxygen (DO) exchange through the WSI considering benthic primary production. The algebraic expression was derived by vertically integrating DO diffusion-reaction equation in sediments divided into two layers: the upper heterogeneous layer where photosynthesis occurs and the lower layer where DO is consumed by biochemical reactions. Experiments were conducted in a wind tunnel with a water tank of variable depth that was at the downwind end of the experimental facility. Fresh sediments were placed in the middle of the tank such that DO was both consumed and produced in the sediments. This particular setup provides the required experimental conditions to measure the diffusion flux through the WSI, as well as the rate of consumption and production in the sediment, based on DO microprofiles. Based on 48 samples, the theoretical expression to compute the DO flux through the WSI was successfully validated. This expression can be used for computing DO exchanges fluxes across the WSI in shallow water bodies, where benthic primary production releases DO to the water during the day, and DO is consumed during the night. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Guijon R.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente | Henriquez F.,University of Santiago de Chile | Naranjo J.A.,Servicio Nacional de Geologia y Mineria SERNAGEOMIN
Geoheritage | Year: 2011

Considering the exceptional geological characteristics of iron oxide and sulphur lavas structures cropping out at El Laco and Lastarria volcanic complexes in Northern Chile, their geographical context, and the Chilean legal framework for conservation, the authors make a general assessment of the geological heritage value of both volcanoes, while analysing the possibilities and challenges that arise in order to protect them. Relevant issues in this matter are the lack of appropriate laws and of applied geoconservation experience in the country, and the difficulty of attracting financial resources but also a big potential for conciliating conservation with mining, different alternatives of tourism—including geotourism—, or other sustainable initiatives, in a naturally and culturally diverse and rich region, already known as a world class tourist destination. Thus results the need to identify the relevant geosites present in each volcano, to emphasize their study and knowledge, as well as a proactive role of public authorities in order to effectively protect these extremely rare and vulnerable geological features. Analysing the specific cases of both volcanic complexes as possible geological heritage locations, the authors aim to highlight the main problems that need to be solved in order to introduce proper geoconservation in the area. © Springer-Verlag 2011.


Rizzi L.I.,University of Santiago de Chile | De La Maza C.,Carnegie Mellon University | Cifuentes L.A.,University of Chile | Gomez J.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2014

Direct valuation of air quality has as a drawback; that estimated willingness to pay figures cannot be apportioned to the several environmental goods affected by air quality, such as mortality and morbidity effects, visibility, outdoor recreation, among others. To address this issue, we implemented a survey in Santiago de Chile to identify component values of confounded environmental services by means of a choice experiment. We designed a survey where two environmental goods, a morbidity health endpoint and improved visibility, had to be jointly traded off against each other and against money in a unified framework.The health endpoint is a respiratory illness that results in an emergency room visit with a probability of hospitalization being required for appropriate treatment. Visibility is described as an aesthetic effect related to the number of days per year of high visibility.Modeling comprises both a logit model with covariates and a mixed-logit model. The results suggest that the health endpoint midpoint value is in a range from USD 2,800 to USD 13,000, mainly depending on the model and age stratum. The mid point value of an extra day of high visibility per year ranges from USD 281,000 to USD 379,000. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Rizzi L.I.,University of Santiago de Chile | Maza C.D.L.,Carnegie Mellon University | Cifuentes L.A.,University of Chile | Gomez J.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2014

Direct valuation of air quality has as a drawback; that estimated willingness to pay figures cannot be apportioned to the several environmental goods affected by air quality, such as mortality and morbidity effects, visibility, outdoor recreation, among others. To address this issue, we implemented a survey in Santiago de Chile to identify component values of confounded environmental services by means of a choice experiment. We designed a survey where two environmental goods, a morbidity health endpoint and improved visibility, had to be jointly traded off against each other and against money in a unified framework. The health endpoint is a respiratory illness that results in an emergency room visit with a probability of hospitalization being required for appropriate treatment. Visibility is described as an aesthetic effect related to the number of days per year of high visibility. Modeling comprises both a logit model with covariates and a mixed-logit model. The results suggest that the health endpoint midpoint value is in a range from USD 2,800 to USD 13,000, mainly depending on the model and age stratum. The mid point value of an extra day of high visibility per year ranges from USD 281,000 to USD 379,000. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Diaz-Robles L.A.,Catholic University of Temuco | Fu J.S.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Vergara-Fernandez A.,University of Los Andes, Chile | Etcharren P.,Ministerio del Medio Ambiente | And 3 more authors.
Environment International | Year: 2014

Temuco is one of the most highly wood smoke polluted cities in Chile; however, there is scarce evidence of respiratory morbidity due to fine particulate matter. We aimed to estimate the relationship between daily concentration of ultrafine particles (UFP), with an aerodynamic diameter ≤0.1μm, and outpatient visits for respiratory illness at medical care centers of Temuco, Chile, from August the 20th, 2009 to June the 30th, 2011. The Air Pollution Health Effects European Approach (APHEA2) protocol was followed, and a multivariate semi-parametric Poisson regression model was fitted with GAM techniques using R-Project statistical package; controlling for trend, seasonality, and confounders. The daily UFP were measured by a MOUDI NR-110 sampler. We found that results of the statistical analyses show significant associations between UFP and respiratory outpatient visits, with the elderly (population ≥65years), being the group that presented the greatest risk. An interquartile increase of 4.73μg/m3 in UFP (lag 5days) was associated with respiratory outpatient visits with a relative risk (RR) of 1.1458 [95% CI (1.0497-1.2507)] for the elderly. These results show novel findings regarding the relevance of daily UFP concentrations and health risk, especially for susceptible population in a wood smoke polluted city. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | University of Atacama, Metropolitan University of Technology and Ministerio del Medio Ambiente
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zootaxa | Year: 2016

Marine mollusks from northern Chile and from the Regin de Atacama in particular have been sparsely documented, and only a few works have reviewed the area (see Araya & Araya, 2015; Labrn et al. 2015; Araya & Valds 2016). Mollusks from deep water and offshore areas are one of the least known groups and, apart from some classic works from the 19th century, only McLean (1970), Bernard (1983), Vliz and Vsquez (2000), Fraussen & Haddorn (2000), Houart (2003), Vilvens & Sellanes (2010), and Araya (2013) have included deep-water molluscan species from northern Chile. Among the Neogastropoda, the Columbellidae constitute a quite diverse and well-distributed family of small snails, with about seven hundred extant species distributed in 70 genera (deMaintenon, 2014). Most columbellids are active epibenthic carnivores or scavengers; their shells are small, normally between 3 and 20 mm in height and they can have determinate growth, with many adult shells presenting a thickened outer lip with denticles on the interior surface (Squires, 2015). In the southeastern Pacific off Chile this family is represented by only 14 species, all from shallow water, mostly found in the northern and central parts of the country (Valdovinos, 1999).

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