ON THE POSSIBLE USE OF MONGOLIAN BRANCHIOPODS AND COPEPODS TO ESTABLISH REFERENCE CONDITIONS FOR ECOLOGICAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF LACUSTRINE WATER BODIES IN SPAIN
A comparison of assemblages of Branchiopoda and Copepoda living in lakes and wetlands in two very distant territories in the Palaearctic Region, the Iberian Peninsula and Mongolia, is presented. Both territories have significant similarities in the hydromorphological and physicochemical characteristics of their water bodies and in the structure and composition of their fauna of branchiopods and copepods. Some species occur in both areas, others are taxonomically closely related, and others behave as geographic vicariants. Most of these microcrustaceans are used as indicators of ecological quality of standing water bodies in industrialized European countries, where reference sites are frequently difficult to find. Taking into account the undisturbed conditions of Mongolian water bodies, the alternative of using their branchiopods and copepods, after setting the proper, statistically-based equivalence between Mongolian and Iberian species, as references to assess ecological status in Spain is discussed.