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CRUSTACEAN (Copepoda and Cladocera) zooplankton richness in Chilean Patagonian lakes

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The Chilean Patagonian lakes are characterized by their oligotrophy, high endemism, significant predominance of calanoid copepods in comparison to daphnid cladocerans, and low species richness. These characteristics are in marked contrast to the situation in North American lakes. In the present study, published information of chlorophyll concentrations and species richness for Chilean Patagonian lakes was considered. The results denoted direct correlations between chlorophyll concentration and species richness, as well as an inverse correlation between latitude and species richness, whereas a relationship between lake surface and species richness was not observed. The results obtained would indicate that the oligotrophic status of the sites studied is the main cause of low species richness. Our conclusions most probably reveal the existence of different regulator mechanisms in comparison to North American lakes. Ecological and biogeographical topics are discussed. Los lagos de la Patagonia Chilena se caracterizan por su oligotrofìa, alto endemismo, marcado predominio de los copépodos calanoideos en comparación a los cladóceros daphnidos y una baja diversidad de especies. Estas características son marcadamente opuestas a los lagos de América del Norte. En el presente estudio se consideró información publicada para lagos de la Patagonia Chilena. Los resultados indicaron que la riqueza de especies estuvo directamente relacionada con la concentración de clorofila, inversamente relacionada con la latitud, y no estuvo relacionada con la superficie del lago. Los resultados obtenidos en el presente estudio indican que la oligotrofía sería la causa principal de la baja riqueza de especies, y que habría una diferencia marcada en los mecanismos reguladores observados para lagos norteamericanos. Se discutieron aspectos ecológicos y biogeográficos en el presente estudio.

Affiliations: 1: Universidad Católica de Temuco, Facultad de Recursos Naturales, Escuela de Ciencias Ambientales, Casilla 15-D, Temuco, Chile; 2: Universidad Austral de Chile, Laboratorio de Ecología Acuática, Casilla 1327, Puerto Montt, Chile


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