A NULL MODEL TO STUDY COMMUNITY STRUCTURE OF MICROCRUSTACEAN ASSEMBLAGES IN NORTH PATAGONIAN URBAN WETLANDS (39-41 degrees S, CHILE)
- The inland water bodies of northern Chilean Patagonia (38-41 S) have many lakes, wetlands and ponds with different littoral and zooplanktonic crustacean assemblages. This study presents field observations of species associations sampled from shallow wetlands located in the urban zones of Valdivia (39 degrees S) and Puerto Montt (41 degrees S). A species presence-absence matrix was created for calculating the Jaccard Index of community similarity and for testing null models of species associations, with the aim of determining whether species associations are random or not. The results of the Jaccard Index calculations indicated the existence of non-defined groups. The results of the null model analysis denoted the presence of regulating factors for Valdivia wetlands, whereas for Puerto Montt wetlands no such factors could be demonstrated. The outcomes of both the Jaccard Index and the significant null model analysis agree with previous ecological descriptions of changes in trophic status as a consequence of changes in the surrounding basin as a determinant of species associations. The ecology of these communities is also discussed.