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A limnological reconnaissance of Lake Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile


A number of expeditions to the area of Salar de Atacama, Chile, 68° 15'W, 20° 30'S, have involved studies of the biological and chemical features of Lake Tebenquiche, situated in the interior of the salar. Chemically, Tebenquiche is hypersaline, with practically anoxic waters dominated by sodium and chloride ions but with high concentrations of sulphate also. The lake is surrounded and invaded by macrophytes, dominated by Scirpus olmeyi and Juncus, which provide organic material for the formation of bacterial mats. The fauna of limnetic crustaceans is almost exclusively of Artemia salina. The most important genera of bacteria are: Marinomonas, Halobacterium, Acinetobacter and the sulphur reductors Vibrio and Bacillus. The Cyanobacteria are represented exclusively by Oscillatoria.

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Zúñiga, L.R., Campos, V., Pinochet, H. et al. A limnological reconnaissance of Lake Tebenquiche, Salar de Atacama, Chile. Hydrobiologia 210, 19–24 (1991).

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Key words

  • Salar de Atacama
  • Lake Tebenquiche
  • Chile
  • saline lake
  • hypersaline