USE OF NULL MODELS TO EXPLAIN CRUSTACEAN ZOOPLANKTON ASSEMBLAGES IN WATERBODIES OF ALERCE ANDINO NATIONAL PARK (41 degrees S, CHILE)
- The zooplankton assemblages in deep, mostly oligotrophic northern Patagonian lakes are characterized by low species numbers and a marked dominance of calanoid copepods. In the present study, data collected in field work on six water bodies located in Alerce Andino National Park (41 degrees S) were analysed using the Jaccard Index of community similarity and a co-occurrence of null models, and such with the aim of determining potential regulating factors for the observed crustacean assemblages, using a presence-absence matrix. A significant correlation between species number and surface area was found. The null model used species co-occurrence, and the basis of this model is that the species associations observed are random. The results revealed the absence of regulating factors and indicate that the sites are relatively homogeneous, with low species numbers and similar plankton assemblages at all studied sites. This finding is in accordance with similar descriptions for zooplankton assemblages in other Chilean Patagonian lakes.