• Tropical South America is dominated by floodplain lakes and lagoons which derive from the main river systems, while 'archetypical' lakes are scarce and restricted to the mountain ranges. These tropical lakes share most of their limnological characteristics with tropical lakes elsewhere, even those at high elevations. Nevertheless, in contrast to the
Asia more populated regions of the world; most tropical floodplain lakes and lagoons maintain most of their natural hydrological characteristics.
• Temperate South America is restricted to the southern part of the continent. As a consequence of the geomorphologic forces that have acted in the region, an important lake district has developed which limnologically differs from similar systems in the Northern Hemisphere: these systems develop deeper thermoclines which translate into lower chlorophyll concentrations at comparable levels of phosphorus. Moreover, the strength and persistence of the westerlies preclude the occurrence of cold dimictic lakes.
• Reservoirs for diverse uses are numerous throughout the continent. The experience of reservoir research and management in the region is part of the worldwide tendency on reservoir development, which is aimed at balancing multiple uses based on modeling development and intensive use of data-bases from long-term studies.
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