Data from: Abundance and morphometry changes across the high-mountain lake-size gradient in the tropical Andes of Southern Ecuador
Mosquera, Pablo V. et al. (2017), Data from: Abundance and morphometry changes across the high-mountain lake-size gradient in the tropical Andes of Southern Ecuador, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.sn058
The number, size, and shape of lakes are key determinants of the ecological functionality of a lake district. The lake area scaling relationships with lake number and volume enable upscaling biogeochemical processes and spatially considering organisms' metapopulation dynamics. These relationships vary regionally depending on the geomorphological context, particularly in the range of lake area <1 km2 and mountainous regions. The Cajas Massif (Southern Ecuador) holds a tropical mountain lake district with 5955 water bodies. The number of lakes deviates from a power law relationship with the lake area at both ends of the size range; similarly to the distributions found in temperate mountain ranges. The deviation of each distribution tail does not respond to the same cause. The marked relief limits the size of the largest lakes at high altitudes, whereas ponds are prompt to a complete infilling. A bathymetry survey of 202 lakes, selected across the full-size range, revealed a volume-area scaling coefficient larger than those found for other lake areas of glacial origin but softer relief. Water renewal time is not consistently proportional to the lake area due to the volume-area variation in midsize lakes. The 85% of the water surface is in lakes >104 m2 and 50% of the water resources are held in a few ones (∼10) deeper than 18 m. Therefore, midlakes and large lakes are by far more biogeochemically relevant than ponds and shallow lakes in this tropical mountain lake district.
Cajas National Park