A NULL MODEL TO EXPLAIN ZOOPLANKTON SPECIES ASSOCIATIONS IN SALINE LAKES OF THE SOUTH AMERICAN ALTIPLANO (14-27 degrees S)
- De los Rios, Patricio - Gajardo, Gonzalo
- Datos de publicación:
- Migración Web of Science 
- Zooplankton diversity in shallow salt lakes of the Andean countries in South America is low and distribution is highly dependent on salinity, which varies from moderate to high. At salinities lower than 90 g/l, the halophilic copepod Boeckella poopoensis (Marsh, 1906) predominates, whereas above that level the anostracan Anemia franciscana (Kellogg, 1912) is the exclusive component of the habitat. This constitutes, however, fragmentary information only. A review of the available literature for Andean saline lakes in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru, confirms that presence and distribution of both species is significantly driven by salinity levels. The results of a species co-occurrence null model analysis, indicates that species associations are not random, and these results are supported by the correlation analysis, which indicates a significant, inverse correlation between species number and salinity, and a significant direct relation of species number with surface of the habitat. The low species diversity characteristically seen in these habitats and their dependence on salinity changes effectuated by weather conditions, provide a good model-system for monitoring weather change.