CRUSTACEAN ZOOPLANKTON COMMUNITIES, MIXOTROPHIC CILILATES, AND OPTICAL PROPERTIES IN NORTH PATAGONIAN LAKES, INVESTIGATED BY REMOTE SENSING
- North Patagonian lakes are characterized by their oligotrophic or oligo-mesotrophic status. These conditions bring with them, respectively, the presence of abundant mixotrophic ciliates and a low species number of crustacean zooplankton under oligotrophic status, and low numbers of mixotrophic ciliates and a high species number of zooplankton under oligo-mesotrophic status. The aims of the present study are, (1) to use remote sensing techniques for determining abundances of mixotrophic ciliates and crustacean zooplankton, and (2) to characterize these mixotrophic and zooplankton communities by using null models. The sensing was accomplished from a satellite, i.e., by measuring the reflectance of the sunlight on a waterbody, which result will vary according to the contents of the water column. The results of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) revealed that sites with low reflectance of all bands have a high abundance of Stentor accompanied by low zooplankton absolute abundance, whereas a markedly opposite situation was observed under high reflectance, where Stentor has low abundance in conjunction with high zooplankton absolute abundances. The null models revealed that the communities in the studied sites do not have structured species associations, and that there is an overlap of niches. These results obtained agree with similar observations for Argentinean Patagonian lakes.