Influence of trophic status and conductivity on zooplankton composition in lakes and ponds of Torres del Paine National Park (Chile)

The Torres del Paine National Park is located in the southern Chilean Patagonia. This park has numerous and heterogeneous lakes and ponds with different trophic status and zooplankton composition. The aim of this study was to analyze the influence of trophic status and conductivity on zooplankton assemblages in lakes and ponds within the Torres del Paine National Park. The water bodies described in the present study were previously classified in three groups. The first group consisted of large, deep and oligotrophic lakes with fish populations, low zooplankton species diversity and high predominance of calanoid copepods of small body size. The second group contained small mesotrophic lakes with fish populations and relatively high predominance of small sized daphnids. The third group consisted of fishless ponds of different, trophic status, wide conductivity gradient and with zooplankton species of relatively large body size. The results show that Daphnids abundance was directly related to chlorophyll-a concentration and inversely associated with conductivity. Calanoids abundance was also directly associated with conductivity.

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