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Introduction to the planktonic Crustacea reported from Chilean inland waters

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Chapter Summary

The crustacean zooplankton in Chilean inland waters is characterized by low numbers of species and a marked predominance of calanoid copepods. This pattern has been observed for northern Chilean lakes, the large, deep lakes in, and shallow ponds in central and southern Patagonia. The species reported are both cosmopolites and endemics. From a biogeographical point of view, the kind of zooplankton assemblages met with varies along a north-south gradient, as a function of the extended Chilean continental territory, whereas from a hydrological vantage point we may recognize the following zone: 1) Atacama desert; 2) Rivers of a mixed regime in the semi-arid zone; 3) Rivers of a mixed regime in the sub-humid zone; 4) Rivers regulated by lake effluents; 5) Northern Patagonian trans-Andean rivers; 6) Ice fields of northern Patagonia; 7) Tierra del Fuego island and the southern islands.

Keywords:Atacama desert; calanoid copepods; Chilean inland waters; crustacean zooplankton; Northern Patagonian trans-Andean rivers; species; Tierra del Fuego island



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