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Article

Páramo Lakes of Colombia: An Overview of Their Geographical Distribution and Physicochemical Characteristics

1
Laboratorio de Limnología, Unidad de Ecología y Sistemática-UNESIS, Departamento de Biología, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá 110231, Colombia
2
Instituto de Salud Pública, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá 110231, Colombia
3
CREAF, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Campus, Edifici C, E-08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
4
CSIC, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona Campus, E-08193 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Salvador Sánchez-Carrillo, Martín Merino-Ibarra and Javier Alcocer-Durand
Water 2021, 13(16), 2175; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162175
Received: 31 May 2021 / Revised: 13 July 2021 / Accepted: 20 July 2021 / Published: 9 August 2021
The páramo lakes, Colombia, situated in the neotropical region, are of great value both as natural heritage and as water source to the most populated areas of the Andes, but are threatened by expanding agriculture, livestock, mining, and landscape fragmentation. Nonetheless, a general assessment of the lakes’ distribution and biogeochemical characteristics was lacking. We made a complete inventory of the Colombian páramo lakes and characterized their morphometry and water chemistry based on a survey of 51 lakes in the Eastern Cordillera. There are 3250 lakes distributed across 28 páramo complexes in Colombia, mainly located between 3600 and 4400 m a.s.l. The lakes are usually small (<10 ha) and shallow (<10 m). Most of them are slightly acidic (average pH~6), with high nutrient (total phosphorus ~0.6 mg/L, total nitrogen ~1 mg/L) and total organic carbon (~6 mg/L) concentrations and low oxygen (~3.5 mg/L) at the bottom. Water chemistry varies according to two main independent gradients related to watershed bedrock geology and trophic state. Global change pressures may be challenging the preservation of these unique ecosystems. Increasing the protection of more lake watersheds should reduce these potential impacts by mitigating negative synergies with local pressures. View Full-Text
Keywords: the Andes; conservation; global change; high mountain lakes; neotropics; trophic state; wetlands the Andes; conservation; global change; high mountain lakes; neotropics; trophic state; wetlands
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zapata, A.; Rivera-Rondón, C.A.; Valoyes, D.; Muñoz-López, C.L.; Mejía-Rocha, M.; Catalan, J. Páramo Lakes of Colombia: An Overview of Their Geographical Distribution and Physicochemical Characteristics. Water 2021, 13, 2175. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162175

AMA Style

Zapata A, Rivera-Rondón CA, Valoyes D, Muñoz-López CL, Mejía-Rocha M, Catalan J. Páramo Lakes of Colombia: An Overview of Their Geographical Distribution and Physicochemical Characteristics. Water. 2021; 13(16):2175. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162175

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zapata, Angela, Carlos A. Rivera-Rondón, Daivan Valoyes, Claudia L. Muñoz-López, Marino Mejía-Rocha, and Jordi Catalan. 2021. "Páramo Lakes of Colombia: An Overview of Their Geographical Distribution and Physicochemical Characteristics" Water 13, no. 16: 2175. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13162175

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