An approach to analyzing spatial patterns of planktonic ciliate communities for monitoring water quality in Jiaozhou Bay, northern China

Yong Jiang, Henglong Xu, Xiaozhong Hu, Mingzhuang Zhu, Khaled A S Al-Rasheid, Alan Warren
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2011, 62 (2): 227-35
Spatial patterns of planktonic ciliate communities for assessment of marine environmental status were studied from June 2007 to May 2008 in Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, northern China. Ciliate communities were sampled biweekly at five sampling sites with a spatial gradient of environmental stress. Multivariate/univariate analyses demonstrated that: (1) the planktonic ciliate community structures represented significant differences among the five sites; (2) spatial patterns of the ciliate communities were significantly correlated with environmental variables, especially the nutrients nitrate nitrogen (NO₃-N) and soluble reactive phosphates (SRP); (3) five dominant species (e.g., Rimostrombidium veniliae, Strombidium capitatum, Mesodinium pupula and Strombidinopsis acutum) were significantly correlated with nitrogen and/or SRP; and (4) both species richness and species diversity indices were correlated with NO₃-N and salinity. These results suggest that planktonic ciliated protozoa might be used as a robust bioindicator of marine water quality.

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