An edaphological, morphological and climatic classification of freshwater forested wetlands from Chile
Wetlands of the same kind can present considerable difference in relation to a series of environmental variables that influence on the physicochemical properties and on the biological communities sustained, natural variability scarcely considered in comparative studies. The aim of this work was to provide a first approach to the edaphological, morphological and climatic classification of the forested wetlands from central Chile, unique environments for the conservation of an interesting floral and faunal diversity. 18 wetlands were classified in the Araucanía Region, by means of the B classification procedure by the European Union Water Framework Directive. 21 variables at basin scale were used. Four ecotypes were obtained, which were characterized mainly by microclimates and soil types, though were also relevant morphological variables such as slope, slope of the wetlands, and the basins towards they drain (Wilks’s Lambda < 0.193, F > 3.84). Ecotypes determined were defined by: 1) convergence of moderate marine, warm and Mediterranean climates with silty clay loam soil and high slopes, 2) moderate marine climate with silty loam soil and high slopes, 3) Cold Mediterranean climate with silty loam soil and low slopes and 4) Moderate marine climate, silty clay loam soil and high slope. Classification is in agreement with in situ observations. Nevertheless, it must be validated by both limnological and biological approaches.