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In cooperation with the research station ‚Huinay’ of the Chilean Fundacion Huinay three members of the GeoBio-CenterLMU Munich (GBC) spent two months in Huinay/Chile in early 2007. Samples of the fauna and flora were collected and an oceanographic transect of the central Huinay Fjord was taken (CTD, O2). Organic matter and water samples were collected for nutrient analyses and tracing the food webs by stable isotopes (C,N,O,S). Due to perfect collaboration of the head and staff of the Huinay Station, filed guiding, scuba diving, and usage of the station owned boat “Huinay” has to be gratefully acknowledged. The excursion was aimed in preparation of a large proposal to the German BMBF (Bundesministerium für Forschung und Technologie, Berlin). We plan to charter the Chilean RV “Vidal Gormaz” in early 2009, in order to investigate the environmental structure and food webs of the northern Chilean Fjord systems.

These fjords shelter a unique fauna and flora, among them a number of abyssal biota, such as cold-water corals and other invertebrates.  Since several years, members of the GBC and the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology cooperate with the Huinay Station. These presurveys and our samples taken gave some evidence for a complex terrestrial-marine coupling, which seems highly sensitive for environmental changes, mainly climatic driven alterations of surface temperatures, precipitation, and exchange rates of water masses. One might presume that these environments will be among the first ones to react on proposed climate changes.



Scuba divers of the Huinay Research Station



The ever present river lets and water falls draining into the Huinay Fjord



The Huinay Research Station



Water sampling aboard the “Huinay”