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    Chile: the perfect place for Phycologists

    12th International Phycological Congress - IPC2021

    The southern coast of Chile is a labyrinth of fjords, sounds, channels, twisting peninsu­las, and islands. Chilean taxa inhabit a wide variety of environments with high levels of endemism and therefore exhibit am­ple morphological variation.

    Southern Chile presents unique algal biodiversity, interesting species to view and collect as well as the applied/industrial development that the country offers in the field of phycology Kelp forests are present along most of the coast, sustaining diverse marine communities and providing up to 10% of the world’s demand for the polysaccharide industry. Tra­ditional, small-scale cultiva­tion of Gracilaria chilensis, as well as the harvesting of several other species for direct consumption, like the Southern bull kelp, a.k.a. “Cochayu­yo”, and Pyropia spp. or “Luche”. Also, the carragenophytes Sarco­thalia crispata and Gigartina skottsbergii are harvested and processed. Microalgae production occurs in the north part of the coun­try for carotene production, and harmful algal blooms have be­come a serious problem in Patagonia, demanding atten­tion from phycologists.