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Open AccessArticle

Coastal Wetlands: Ecosystems Affected by Urbanization?

Centro de recursos hídricos para la agricultura y la minería, Fondap CRHIAM, Universidad de Concepción, Concepción PC 4070411, Chile
Departamento de Planificación Territorial, Facultad de Ciencias Ambientales-Centro EULA, Universidad de Concepción, Víctor Lamas 1290, Concepción PC 160-C, Chile
Departamento de Química, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad del Bío–Bío, Concepción PC 5-C 4051389, Chile
Departamento de Estadística, Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y Matemáticas, Universidad de Concepción, Víctor Lamas 1290, Concepción PC 160-C, Chile
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y Limnológicas, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia PC 5090000, Chile
Instituto de Estudios Urbanos y Territoriales, Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable CEDEUS, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago PC 7500000, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(3), 698;
Received: 28 January 2020 / Revised: 19 February 2020 / Accepted: 2 March 2020 / Published: 4 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Systems—Quality and Contamination)
Coastal wetlands are ecosystems that provide multiple benefits to human settlements; nonetheless, they are seriously threatened due to both a lack of planning instruments and human activities associated mainly with urban growth. An understanding of their functioning and status is crucial for their protection and conservation. Two wetlands with different degrees of urbanization, Rocuant-Andalién (highly urbanized) and Tubul-Raqui (with little urbanization), were analyzed using temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, granulometry, fecal coliform, and macroinvertebrate assemblage variables in summer and winter. In both wetlands marked seasonality in salinity, temperature and sediment texture classification, regulated by oceanic influence and changes in the freshwater budget, was observed. In the Rocuant-Andalién wetland, the increases in pH, dissolved oxygen, gravel percentage, and coliform concentration were statistically significant. Urbanization generated negative impacts on macroinvertebrate assemblage structure that inhabit the wetlands; greater richness and abundance (8.5 times greater) were recorded in the Tubul-Raqui wetland than in the more urbanized wetland. The multivariate statistical analysis reflects the alteration of these complex systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: salt marshes; urban growth; anthropogenic stressors; aquatic fauna; bioindicators; Chile salt marshes; urban growth; anthropogenic stressors; aquatic fauna; bioindicators; Chile
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MDPI and ACS Style

Novoa, V.; Rojas, O.; Ahumada-Rudolph, R.; Sáez, K.; Fierro, P.; Rojas, C. Coastal Wetlands: Ecosystems Affected by Urbanization? Water 2020, 12, 698.

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