JOURNAL ARTICLE

Planktonic ciliates in a hypertrophic pond: functional role and importance

Ma del Rosario Sanchez Rodriguez, Alfonso Lugo Vazquez, Ma Guadalupe Oliva Martinez, Jaqueline Garcia Verver y Vargas, Armando Rodriguez Rocha, Laura Peralta Soriano
Journal of Environmental Biology 2011, 32 (4): 497-503
22315829
Taxonomical composition and abundance of the planktonic ciliate assemblage in a Lake Tezozomoc, a hypertrophic pond located into an urban park in Mexico City, was investigated along the rainy season (May to October). The aims of the study were to know the main trophic roles and ecological significance of ciliates in a highly productive environment. A low number of taxa (27) and a wide abundance fluctuation (104-387 cil ml(-1)) were found. The most abundant species (up to 162 cil ml(-1)) was Halteria grandinella, an oligotrich ciliate that graze on bacteria and picoplankton, but also several big body sized species that feed on pico and nanoplankton were abundant. Sudden temporal changes in species dominance occurred. Ciliate biomass was very high and fluctuated widely (1.6-88 10(6) microm(3) ml(-1)) being dominated by the >50 microm size fraction that mainly included the pico and nanoplankton feeders. Ciliates are a very important component in the plankton of hypertrophic lakes and their main control factor seems to be the grazing by big-body size Daphnia species.

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