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  • Author or Editor: Alfonso Mardones x
  • Primary Language: English x
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The northern Chilean (18-27°S) inland waters have been poorly studied, because of difficulties in accessing the area, and the aquatic fauna is sculpted by the high conductivity. The few studies that are available are based on fragmented information on shallow mountain ponds associated with saline deposits (“salares”), and shallow ponds and the Loa river. The aim of the present study is provide a review of the malacostracan ecology of northern Chilean inland waters. The information of shallow mountain ponds and lagoons reveals the presence of the amphipods Hyalella fossamanchini and H. kochi. They are only found at low salinity levels (<3 g/l), although a different situation was observed for Loa river, which has low abundance populations of the northern Chilean river prawn Cryphiops caementarius and the amphipods H. fossamanchini and H. kochi. However the first species is scarce due excessive fisheries activities and habitat fragmentation, whereas there are no studies about amphipods populations. Nevertheless in Loa river these species can be an important prey for introduced salmonids (Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta). Similar patterns were observed for other comparable ecosystems in the Andes mountains of Argentina and Peru.

In: Crustaceana

The Cautin river is located in the Araucania region, Chile (38°S), and is characterized by alterations through human interference in its surrounding basin, by the presence of introduced salmonids, and by its mixed regime, which originates from melting snow in summer and rains in winter. The fauna of this river includes an invertebrate fauna composed of both endemic and widespread species, which has, however, been only poorly studied until now. The aim of the present study was to make a review of the ecological role of the benthic inland water crustaceans of the River Cautin, in order to understand their importance in the ecosystem of the river. The literature revealed the presence of abundant populations of amphipods and freshwater crabs as well as of aquatic insects along the river’s course. Many of these crustaceans are prey for both introduced salmonids and native fishes. Similar results have been reported for other southern Argentinean and Chilean Patagonian rivers.

In: Crustaceana