Abstract

Introduction: A large number of planktonic communities found in tropical lakes have not yet been recorded, limiting understanding of how these ecosystems function and of the role that organisms play within them. Objective: Add new records of previously described species and to contribute to the knowledge of the planktonic communities present in tropical mountain and lowland lakes of the northeast Colombian Andes. Methods: Planktonic samples were collected and physicochemical variables measured in nine tropical lakes. Organisms were identified and a bibliographic search was carried out in databases and research articles to the identification of the new records to Colombia. Results: We present the data corresponding to six physicochemical variables measured in tropical lakes of this region and expand the existing information on organisms present in tropical lakes with a list of 391 taxa (299 phytoplankton and 92 zooplankton). The proportion of planktonic species unique to tropical lakes and the low similarity between lake types found with a Jaccard analysis indicated high heterogeneity of ecological conditions in the studied lakes. Conclusions: The 391 taxa found and 15 new records contribute to the list of planktonic organisms present in tropical lakes located in high and low areas of the Colombian northeast Andes.

Keywords: Plankton; aquatic ecosystems; lowland, mountain; richness; Colombia.