Predicting spatial distribution patterns and hotspots of fish assemblage in a coastal basin of the central-south of Chile, by geostatistical techniques
Prediction of fish diversity using geostatistics
Currently the application of geographic information systems in the subjects of biology and ecology has facilitated the study patterns of distribution, richness y diversity of species. However, in freshwater ecosystems the application of geostatistical analysis are scarcely used in the worldwide, including Chile. Therefore, in our study we developed predictive maps using simple Kriging (resolution 12.5 x 12.5 m), based on richness and Shannon-Weaver diversity, and we analyzed spatial autocorrelation of fish assemblages (Moran and Getis-Ord index) present in the Andalién River basin. Our results established a fish assemblage composition of 24 species, most of them native (79%) and with endanger conservation status. Predictive maps showed highest values of richness and diversity of fish species in the potamon zone of the Andalién and Nonguén streams, while the low values were described in the Chaimavida sub-basin and the transition zone of Andalién River. The Moran and Getis-Ord index determined a cluster pattern of the data and define hotspot and coldspot zones, concordant with the predictive maps of richness and Shannon-Weaver diversity. The geostatistical and spatial techniques showed to be relevant tools for the determination of distribution patterns of freshwater species and conservation issues.
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