Restricciones estequiométricas en las comunidades planctónicas de lagos patagónicos. Implicancias para la distribución y la conservación de Parabroteas sarsi

Palabras clave: estequiometría ecológica, depredación, tramas tróficas, copépodos, cladóceros


La Región Patagónica, que incluye desde los Andes hasta la estepa, posee una red hidrográfica profusa, con lagos profundos y someros. En este trabajo analizamos las restricciones estequiométricas en redes tróficas con la presencia del copépodo depredador Parabroteas sarsi. Para ello, examinamos datos previos sobre la composición de la comunidad del zooplancton en lagos patagónicos con y sin peces (introducidos principalmente en el siglo XX) y experimentos propios de laboratorio y de campo. La estequiometría ecológica predice que los consumidores necesitan obtener relaciones elementales específicas para alcanzar máximas tasas de crecimiento. Por su parte, el marco geométrico de la nutrición propone que los consumidores pueden necesitar incluir diferentes ítems alimentarios para cumplir con sus requerimientos nutricionales. En este sentido, demostramos que el copépodo depredador no necesariamente encuentra presas que cumplan con sus requisitos estequiométricos, por lo que su crecimiento poblacional se ve limitado. Sin embargo, la combinación de diferentes presas le permite a este copépodo alcanzar sus requerimientos elementales. En presencia de peces, las redes alimentarias cambian hacia especies del zooplancton de menor tamaño y se pierden especies con menor relación carbono:nutrientes. En tal sentido, señalamos el impacto directo e indirecto de la introducción de peces en los balances estequiométricos y en la desaparición de este depredador invertebrado en las redes tróficas lacustres.


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Stoichiometric constraints in plankton communities of Patagonian lakes. Implications for Parabroteas sarsi distribution and conservation