Dispersion of Emerita analoga (Stimpson, 1857) larvae in northern coast of Chile (25°-31.5°S)
The larvae of Emerita analoga, captured on the northern coast of Chile, during three consecutive years, during the austral summer, were separated by stage of development and their abundance, occurrence, and distribution, was analyzed for its proximity to the coast. The highest abundance was determined in coastal sampling stations and near the main sandy beaches of the study area, where the initial developmental stages were predominantly represented. The intermediate development stages proportionally increased in abundance at sampling stations in remote coastal stations, while more developed individuals had similar distribution than the first zoeae. Statistical analysis established significant differences in abundance, dominance, and occurrence of the different stages with respect to its distance to the coast. The Coquimbo Bay system had the highest concentrations of larvae, which has been associated with adult populations and oceanographic dynamics of the area. Spatial segregation of developmental stages and oceanographic dynamics of the area of greatest abundance would suggest that larval dispersion and retention are associated with water flows and circadian and ontogenetic vertical migration.