About this Research Topic
Fjords are deep and glacially carved estuarine ecosystems that are particular to certain coastlines and have several characteristics that distinguish them from shallower embayments. Patagonian fjords (41–55°S) are one the most structured ecosystems in the world, with particular differences from other fjord environments at higher latitudes such as in Scandinavia and New Zealand. In addition, Patagonian fjords constitute a dynamic estuarine system characterized by sharp gradients in salinity, aquatic productivity, and suspended sediment concentrations. In fact, fjords exhibit many oceanographic processes occurring over a wide range of space and time scales. Moreover, due to their location at the interface between marine and terrestrial environments, they rapidly respond to changes in continental and marine conditions alike. However, there is limited investigation into Patagonian fjords’ benthic communities, which appear to be sensitive to climate changes. The need here is for a deeper understanding of this ecosystem and its resilience to the long-term effects of pollution.
This Research Topic in Frontiers in Marine Science celebrates the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Strait of Magellan, on October 21st, 2020. This initiative will include several Chilean institutions and other institutions from Italy and Germany interested in scientific research related to Patagonian ecosystems.
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