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Effects of the availability of energetic and protective resources on the abundance of daphniids (Cladocera, Daphniidae) in Chilean Patagonian lakes (39°-51°s)

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The lacustrine zooplankton of Chile is characterized by a low abundance of daphniid cladocerans and a predominance of calanoid copepods, thus making up a zooplankton community quite different from that described for North American lakes. To explain this pattern, this study investigates the role of the oligotrophy, and the resulting high transparency of a considerable number of locations. Due to low levels of dissolved organic carbon, viz., Daphniidae are exposed to ultraviolet radiation. Chilean lakes located between 39° and 51°S were studied, and maximum depth, mixing depth, trophic status, and dissolved organic carbon concentrations were measured and considered. The results obtained revealed that daphniids were abundant in oligo-mesotrophic lakes with shallow mixing depth. Thus, daphniid abundance is directly associated with chlorophyll-a concentration as an energetic resource, but also with sufficient depth, because this last condition provides protection against the penetration of ultraviolet radiation. El zooplancton lacustre en Chile se caracteriza por la baja abundancia de cladóceros daphnidos y una marcada abundancia de copépodos calanoideos, lo cual es una situación marcadamente opuesta a la observada para los lagos de América del Norte. Como causas de este ensamble zooplanctónico, este estudio se investigó el rol de la oligotrofía y la alta transparencia de la columna de agua causada por las bajas concentraciones de carbono orgánico disuelto, lo cual expondría a los daphnidos a la exposición a la radiación ultravioleta. Se estudiaron algunos lagos chilenos chilenos localizados entre los 39° y 51°S y se consideraron los datos de profundidad máxima, profundidad de la capa de mezcla, conditiones tróficas y concentración de carbono orgánico disuelto, a los cuales se les aplicó un análisis de componentes principales. Los resultados obtenidos indicaron que los daphnidos fueron abundantes en sitios oligo a mesotróficos, los cuales tienen baja profundidad de capa de mezcla. Así la abundancia relativa de daphnidos está directamente relacionada con la concentración de clorofila, lo cual estaría asociado con la gran profundidad de los sitios lo cual brindaría protección contra la radiación ultravioleta.

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