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Revista de Biología Tropical

On-line version ISSN 0034-7744Print version ISSN 0034-7744


UMANA-VILLALOBOS, Gerardo  and  AVILES-VARGAS, Lidia. Variación del plancton en el lago Río Cuarto, Costa Rica (2013 al 2017). Rev. biol. trop [online]. 2019, vol.67, n.6, pp.1543-1559. ISSN 0034-7744.

In tropical lakes, seasonal changes in plankton dynamics are minimal and irregular, since climatic conditions are fairly stable throughout the year, in most cases only long-term studies allow observing patterns in the dynamics of the plankton. Lake Río Cuarto is a maar-type meromic lake located in the plains of Northern Costa Rica, in the past there have been no limnological studies more than a year of sampling, in this work we present data on the composition of phytoplankton and zooplankton over four years, from 2013 to 2017, with the aim of analyzing changes in the plankton community in a longer period, associated with environmental variables. Phytoplankton was studied from subsurface samples, preserved in Lugol’s solution and zooplankton from 20 m vertical hawls of a 64 µm mesh net, and preserved with formaline and later transferred to 95 % ethanol. Phytoplankton composition included 54 taxa, most of them were Chlorophyta, followed by Cyanobacteria and Bacillariophyta. The most abundant were: Synechococcus spp., Aphanocapsa sp. Coenochloris fotii, Chlorella sp. and Discostella stelligera. Total phytoplankton decreased from 2013 to 2017, mainly due to a decrease in Cyanobacteria. Zooplankton comprised 14 taxa, 5 cladocerans, 4 copepods, 1 diptera and 4 rotifers. The most abundant were: Keratella americana, Brachionus falcatus, Eubosmina tubicen and Arctodiaptomus dorsalis. There was a substitution of dominant species through time, at first (2013-2014) K. americana and E. tubicen alternated in dominance, and later (2015-2016), A. dorsalis, Diaphanosoma sp. and Ceridaphnia sp. became dominant, with a return of K. americana by 2017. The changes that occurred during the time of the study seem to be related to changes in the conditions of the lake, since its thermocline deepened with time and became more transparent. The abundance, of rotifers and Eubosmina tubicen, decreased associated to a decrease of Cyanobacteria. Those changes were not cyclical on an annual basis, but seemed to occur more on a long-term basis, as has been recognized earlier in the literature about tropical lakes.

Keywords : phytoplankton; zooplankton; temporal variation; meromictic lake; Costa Rica.

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