Rotifer communities from some Araucanian lakes of southern Chile

Abstract

During the last decade much information has been produced about the zooplankton communities in southern Chile; however, most of this is related to the crustacean assemblages. The present communication examines the spatial and temporal distribution of rotifer assemblages and their relation to the environmental variables during one-year period in four Araucanian lakes. A total of 19 species was found in these oligotrophic lakes. Keratella cochlearis, Synchaeta stylata, Trichocerca porcellus, Conochilus unicornis and Collotheca pelagica were widespread, and seven species exhibited a more restricted distribution among the lakes. Species richness varied from 6 to 12; similarly, one or two dominant species usually accounted for more than 80% of the total annual abundance. Similar dominant species occurred in two lakes, but their maximum peaks of abundance differed in time; in the remaining lakes the most important species were different. Calculated rotifer diversity showed a fluctuating pattern, with low values during the year in three lakes, and high ones in Lake Llanquihue. Species diversity was significantly related to species richness in all lakes. Discriminant analysis based on the occurrence and abundances of species throughout the year revealed that the rotifer assemblage in Lake Llanquihue was different from that in the rest of the Araucanian lakes. Furthermore, the same analysis using environmental variables showed that this lake is clearly discriminated from the others on the basis of the ionic composition of the water (i.e. Cl, Na+, Mg2+). Rotifer abundances in these lakes were significantly influenced by a number of abiotic variables, including those related to water ionic composition. These relationships may imply that the small differences in chemical characteristics of these lakes influence the structure of the rotifer community.

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Schmid-Araya, J.M. Rotifer communities from some Araucanian lakes of southern Chile. Hydrobiologia 255, 397–409 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00025865

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Key words

  • Rotifera
  • South America
  • oligotrophic lakes
  • Austria