Zoogeography of Chilean inland water crustaceans
Ríos-Escalante,Patricio De los
The Chilean inland water crustaceans are characterized by a combination of endemic and cosmopolitan species: some occur throughout the territory of continental Chile, while others are restricted to specific latitudinal regions. This study examined the zoogeographical patterns exhibited by Chilean inland water crustaceans. We considered six regions: Northern Chile (18°-27°S), North-Central Chile (27°-30°S), Central Chile (30°-38°S), Northern Patagonia (38°-41°S), Central Patagonia (41°-51°S), and Southern Patagonia (51°-55°S), and these were identified based on literature records of inland water crustaceans. The classification analysis generated dendrograms for the following groups considered in this categories: all inland water crustaceans (Branchiopoda, Copepoda and Malacostraca), the zooplanktonic crustaceans (Branchiopoda and Copepoda), the Malacostraca alone, and each group separately. Analysis of total data and of the zooplankton group taxa alone revealed the existence of a main grouping consisting of the three Patagonian zones plus Central Chile, that is distinct from that of Northern Chile and North-Central Chile. Similarly, analysis of the malacostracan data revealed the existence of two main groups, one comprising the three Patagonian zones plus Central Chile, contrasted with a second group of Northern and North-Central Chile combined. Our results are in agreement with other panbiogeographical studies of South American crustaceans and insects. Possible factors responsible for generating this pattern are the dispersal and colonization potential of zooplanktonic crustaceans and the marked endemism of the malacostracans.