Ichthyological ecoregions of Argentina

López, Hugo Luis and Morgan, Cecilia C. and Montenegro, Marcelo J. (2002) Ichthyological ecoregions of Argentina. La Plata, Argentina, División Zoología Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata., 71pp. (ProBiota, FCNyM, UNLP, Serie Documentos , 1)

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Abstract

The Argentine Republic is situated in the southernmost portion of the American continent, occupying over 2,785,600 km2 not including the Antarctic territory. The country ranges from subtropical areas (21º46’S) to subantarctic regions (55º03’S), extending latitudinally over about 4,000 km. It possesses significant latitudinal and altitudinal variation (33º of latitudinal range, and heights from Bajo de San Julián in Santa Cruz province at 105 m below sea level, up to Mt. Aconcagua, 6,959 m over sea level), as well as two gradients of physical variability, extending in north-south and east-west directions. Owing to these features, the country presents a wide range of climates and soil types, being one of the countries with greatest diversity of biogeographical units (Lean et al., 1990, In: Bertonatti & Corcuera, 2000). There are four main hydrographic systems: Río de la Plata basin, the Atlantic and Pacific drainages, and several endorrheic systems. Within these basins, the ichthyofaunistic assemblage is well represented, with different magnitude in accordance with the different taxonomic groupings and regions considered. From an ichthyogeographic standpoint, and according to the works of Ringuelet (1975) and Arratia et al. (1983), Argentina is included in the Brasilic and Austral Subregions. The first of these is represented by two domains: the Andean Domain, comprising the southernmost portion of Titicaca Province, and the Paranensean Domain, including part of Alto Paraná and Paranoplatensean Provinces. The Austral Subregion is represented in Argentina by the Subandean-Cuyan and Patagonian Provinces. The present survey indicates that there are about 441 fish species in Argentina, distributed throughout the country; this number represents less than 10% of the total fish species occurring in the Neotropical Region. There is a recognizable trend of faunal impoverishment, both in North-South and East-West direction, reaching its maximum expression in the provinces of Tierra del Fuego (situated at approximately 52º30’S to 55ºS, and 65ºS to 68º50’W) and San Juan (approximately 28º50’S and 67ºW to 70º45’W), which have 4 and 5 fish species respectively. In north-south direction, one of the regional indicators of this phenomenon is the Salado river basin in Buenos Aires province, which constitutes the southern distributional boundary for the majority of the paranoplatensean ichthyofauna; 12 of the families occurring in the Paraná-Plata system are absent from this pauperized paranensean ichthyofaunal assemblage. Most of the continental fish fauna of Argentina belongs to the primary division of Myers (1949), while some elements are included in the secondary division and others in an amphibiotic or ‘marine penetration’ category. This ichthyofaunistic scope encompasses a wide range of morphological, biological, ecological and ethological types (benthic and pelagic, migrating and sedentary, haematophagous or parasites, annual species, inhabitants of plains or heights, estivation-adapted, etc.) inhabiting different regions within the national territory.

Item Type: Monograph or Serial Issue
Title: Ichthyological ecoregions of Argentina
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
López, Hugo Luishlopez@fcnym.unlp.edu.ar
Morgan, Cecilia C.cmorgan@fcnym.unlp.edu.ar
Montenegro, Marcelo J.
Series Name: ProBiota, FCNyM, UNLP, Serie Documentos
Number: 1
Number of Pages: 71
Date: 2002
Publisher: División Zoología Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata.
Place of Publication: La Plata, Argentina
Projects: ProBiota: Programa para el estudio y uso sustentable de la biota austral
Funders: ProBiota, DZV, FCNyM, UNLP
Issuing Agency: Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fishes; Argentina
Subjects: Management
Conservation
Biology
Environment
Item ID: 1589
Depositing User: Dr. Hugo Luis López
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2008 19:23
Last Modified: 07 May 2013 13:01
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/1589

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