Review paper


, Volume 644, Issue 1, pp 1-54

First online:

Limnology in Mexico

  • Javier AlcocerAffiliated withProyecto de Investigación en Limnología Tropical, FES Iztacala, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Email author 
  • , Fernando W. Bernal-BrooksAffiliated withInstituto de Investigaciones Sobre los Recursos Naturales, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo

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The document herewith deals with the geography, geology, and climate of the Mexican territory as the basis to further explain the development of Limnology as a science in this country. An early knowledge started with the Aztecs, with evidence of practical solutions for a life within a lake. After the conquest of the American territories by the Spaniards, the exploration of the new territories provided the main source of information relative to natural resources. In 1938, the Mexican government established the Estación Limnológica de Pátzcuaro and the pioneer studies appeared under the name of Spanish scientists not only here but also at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Instituto Politécnico Nacional. During the 1970s, the participation of Mexican limnologists began and the attempt to build-up a conceptual framework in its own for lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. This article outlines the main limnological characteristics of Mexican water bodies, highlights the peculiarities of a transitional zone between the tropics and subtropics, and describes the government structure for management and administration. A fast development in this area of knowledge got underway with the creation of the Asociación Mexicana de Limnología in 1997 and the collaboration with international counterparts.


Desert limnology Lakes Reservoirs Rivers Tropical limnology Limnological regionalization