Skip to main content Accessibility help

Ciliate growth rates from Plymouth Sound: comparison of direct and indirect estimates

  • R.J.G. Leakey (a1) (a2), P.H. Burkill (a1) and M.A. Sleigh (a2)


The in situ growth rates of marine planktonic ciliates from Plymouth Sound were determined after fractionating the natural community into several size categories to remove predators of different sizes. Total community in situ growth rates varied from 0·01 to 0·57 d−1 according to fractionation treatment, with the four most abundant taxa, comprising three species of Strombidium, and Mesodinium rubrum, achieving maximum in situ growth rates of between 0·41 and 0·68 d−1. These values are approximately half the maximum theoretical rates calculated indirectly using an equation which relates ciliate growth to cell size and temperature. Given the conservative nature of in situ growth rate measurements, the growth rates reported here appear appropriate for a natural ciliate community growing within a nutritionally favourable environment.



Hide All
Aelion, C.M. & Chisholm, S.W., 1985. Effect of temperature on growth and ingestion rates of Favella sp. Journal of Plankton Research, 7, 821830.
Burkill, P.H., 1982. Ciliates and other microplankton components of a nearshore food-web: standing stocks and production processes. Annales de l'Institut Océanographique, Monaco, 58, supplement, 335350.
Capriulo, G.M., Sherr, E.B. & Sherr, B.F., 1991. Trophic behaviour and related community feeding activities of heterotrophic marine protists. In Protozoa and their role in marine processes (ed. Reid, P.C. et al.), pp. 219265. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Coats, D.W., 1988. Duboscquella cachoni n. sp., a parasitic dinoflagellate lethal to its tintinnine host Eutintinnus pectinis . Journal of Protozoology, 35, 607617.
Coats, D.W. & Heinbokel, J.F., 1982. A study of reproduction and other life cycle phenomena in planktonic protists using an acridine orange fluorescence technique. Marine Biology, 67, 7179.
Coats, D.W. & Heisler, J.J., 1989. Spatial and temporal occurrence of the parasitic dinoflagellate Duboscquella cachoni and its tintinnine host Eutintinnus pectinis in Chesapeake Bay. Marine Biology, 101, 401409.
Dolan, J.R., 1991. Microphagous ciliates in mesohaline Chesapeake Bay waters: estimates of growth rates and consumption by copepods. Marine Biology, 111, 303309.
Dolan, J.R. & Coats, D.W., 1991. A study of feeding in predacious ciliates using prey ciliates labelled with fluorescent microspheres. Journal of Plankton Research, 13, 609627.
Fenchel, T., 1968. The ecology of marine microbenthos. III. The reproductive potential of ciliates. Ophelia, 5, 123136.
Fenchel, T., 1988. Marine plankton food chains. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 19, 1938.
Finlay, B.J., 1977. The dependence of reproductive rate on cell size and temperature in freshwater ciliated protozoa. Oecologia, 30, 7581.
Finlay, B.J., 1978. Community production and respiration by ciliated protozoa in the benthos of a small eutrophic loch. Freshwater Biology, 8, 327341.
Gifford, D.J., 1985. Laboratory culture of marine planktonic oligotrichs (Ciliphora, Oligotrichida). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 23, 257267.
Gilron, G.L. & Lynn, D.H., 1989. Estimates of in situ population growth rates of four tintinnine ciliate species near Kingston Harbour, Jamaica. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 29, 110.
Gold, K. & Pollingher, U., 1971. Microgamete formation and the growth rate of Tintinnopsis beroidea . Marine Biology, 11, 324329.
Grice, G.D., Harris, R.P., Reeve, M.R., Heinbokel, J.F. & Davis, C.O., 1980. Large-scale enclosed water-column ecosystems. An overview of foodweb I, the final CEPEX experiment. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 60, 401414.
Hamilton, R.D. & Preslan, J.E., 1969. Cultural characteristics of a pelagic marine hymenstome ciliate, Uronema sp. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 4, 9099.
Hansen, P.J., 1989. The red tide dinoflagellate Alexandrium tamarense: effects on behaviour and growth of a tintinnid ciliate. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 53, 105116.
Heinbokel, J.F., 1978. Studies on the functional role of tintinnids in the southern California Bight. I. Grazing and growth rates in laboratory cultures. Marine Biology, 47, 177189.
Heinbokel, J.F., 1987. Diel periodicities and rates of reproduction in natural populations of tintinnids in the oligotrophic waters off Hawaii, September 1982. Marine Microbial Food Webs, 2, 114.
Heinbokel, J.F., 1988. Reproductive rates and periodicities of oceanic tintinnine ciliates. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 47, 239248.
Heinbokel, J.F. & Coats, D.W., 1986. Patterns of tintinnine abundance and reproduction near the edge of seasonal pack-ice in the Weddell Sea, November 1983. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 33, 7180.
Hobbie, J.E., Daley, R.J. & Jasper, S., 1977. Use of Nuclepore filters for counting bacteria by fluorescence microscopy. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 33, 12251228.
Jonsson, P.R., 1986. Particle size selection, feeding rates and growth dynamics of marine plank-tonic oligotrichous ciliates (Ciliophora: Oligotrichina). Marine Ecology Progress Series, 33, 265277.
Laybourn, J.E.M. & Stewart, J.M., 1974. Effect of food consumption and temperature on reproduction in the ciliate Colpidium campylum . Journal of Zoology, 174, 277283.
Leakey, R.J.G., Burkill, P.H. & Sleigh, M.A., 1992. Planktonic ciliates in Southampton Water: abundance, biomass, production, and role in pelagic carbon flow. Marine Biology, 114, 6783.
Lee, C.C. & Fenchel, T., 1972. Studies on ciliates associated with sea ice from Antarctica. II. Temperature responses and tolerances from Antarctic, temperate and tropical habitats. Archiv für Protistenkunde, 114, 237244.
Leppanen, J.-M. & Bruun, J.-E., 1986. The role of pelagic ciliates including the autotrophic Mesodinium rubrum during the spring bloom of 1982 in the open northern Baltic proper. Ophelia, supplement 4, 147157.
Lindholm, T., 1985. Mesodinium rubrum – a unique photosynthetic ciliate. Advances in Aquatic Microbiology, 3, 148.
Lynn, D.H. & Montagnes, D.J.S., 1991. Global production of heterotrophic marine planktonic ciliates. In Protozoa and their role in marine processes (ed. Reid, P.C. et al.), pp. 281307. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Marshall, S.M., 1969. Protozoa: Tintinnida. Zooplankton Sheets 117127.
Middlebrook, K., Emerson, C.W., Roff, J.C. & Lynn, D.H., 1987. Distribution and abundance of tintinnids in the Quoddy region of the Bay of Fundy. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 65, 594601.
Montagnes, D.J.S. & Lynn, D.H., 1989. The annual cycle of Mesodinium rubrum in the waters surrounding the Isles of Shoals, Gulf of Maine. Journal of Plankton Research, 11, 193201.
Montagnes, D.J.S., Lynn, D.H., Roff, J.C. & Taylor, W.D., 1988. The annual cycle of heterotrophic planktonic ciliates in the waters surrounding the Isles of Shoals, Gulf of Maine: an assessment of their trophic role. Marine Biology, 99, 2130.
Nöthig, E.-M., 1986. Tank experiments with natural plankton: the influence of light and zooplankton grazing on pelagic system structure. Ophelia, supplement 4, 179190.
Ohman, M.D. & Snyder, R.A., 1991. Growth kinetics of the omnivorous oligotrich ciliate Strombidium sp. Limnology and Oceanography, 36, 922935.
Paranjape, M.A., 1980. Occurrence and significance of resting cysts in a hyaline tintinnid, Helicostomella subulata. (Ehre.) Jorgensen. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 48, 2333.
Parsons, T.R., Maita, Y. & Lalli, C.M., 1984. A manual of chemical and biological methods for seawater analysis. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Pilling, E.D., Leakey, R.J.G. & Burkill, P.H., 1992. Marine pelagic ciliates and their productivity during summer in Plymouth coastal waters. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 72, 265268.
Porter, K.G. & Feig, Y.S., 1980. The use of DAPI for identifying and counting aquatic microflora. Limnology and Oceanography, 25, 943948.
Putt, M. & Stoecker, D.K., 1989. An experimentally determined carbon:volume ratio for marine ‘oligotrichous’ ciliates from estuarine and coastal waters. Limnology and Oceanography, 34, 10971103.
Rassoulzadegan, F., 1982. Dependence of grazing rate, gross growth efficiency and food size range on temperature in a pelagic oligotrichous ciliate Lohmanniella spiralis Leeg., fed on naturally occurring particulate matter. Annales de l'Institut Océanographique, Paris, 58, 177184.
Rivier, A., Brownlee, D.C., Sheldon, R.W. & Rassoulzadegan, F., 1985. Growth of microzooplankton: a comparative study of bactivorous zooflagellates and ciliates. Marine Microbial Food Webs, 1, 5160.
Robertson, J.R., 1983. Predation by estuarine zooplankton on tintinnid ciliates. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 16, 2736.
Rubin, H.A. & Lee, J.J., 1976. Informational energy flow as an aspect of the ecological efficiency of marine ciliates. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 62, 6991.
Sherr, E.B & Sherr, B.F., 1987. High rates of consumption of bacteria by pelagic ciliates. Nature, London, 325, 710711.
Small, E.B. & Lynn, D.H., 1985. Phylum Ciliophora (Doflein, 1901). In An illustrated guide to the protozoa (ed. Lee, J.J. et al.), pp. 393575. Lawrence, Kansas: Allen Press. [Society of Protozoologists special publication.]
Smetacek, V.S., 1984. Growth dynamics of a common Baltic protozooplankter: the ciliate genus Lohmanniella . Limnologica, 15, 371376.
Stoecker, D.K., 1991. Mixotrophy in marine planktonic ciliates: physiological and ecological aspects of plastid-retention by oligotrichs. In Protozoa and their role in marine processes (ed. Reid, P.C. et al.), pp. 161179. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Stoecker, D.K. & Capuzzo, J.M., 1990. Predation on protozoa: its importance to zooplankton. Journal of Plankton Research, 12, 891908.
Stoecker, D., Davis, L.H. & Provan, A., 1983. Growth of Favella sp. (Ciliata: Tintinnina) and other microzooplankters in cages incubated in situ and comparisons to growth in vitro . Marine Biology, 75, 293302.
Stoecker, D.K. & Evans, G.T., 1985. Effects of protozoan herbivory and carnivory in a microplankton food web. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 25, 159167.
Stoecker, D.K., Silver, M.W., Michaels, A.E. & Davis, L.H., 1988. Obligate mixotrophy in Laboea strobila, a ciliate which retains chloroplasts. Marine Biology, 99, 415423.
Taniguchi, A. & Kawakami, R., 1983. Growth rates of ciliate Eutintinnus lususundae and Favella taraikaenis observed in the laboratory culture experiments. Bulletin of the Plankton Society of Japan, 30, 3340.
Taylor, W.D. & Berger, J., 1976. Growth of Colpidium campylum in monoxenic batch culture. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 54, 392398.
Utermohl, H., 1958. Zur vervollkommnung der quantitativen phytoplankton-methodik. Mitteilungen der Internationale Vereinigung für Theoretische und Angewandte Limnologie, 9, 138.
Venrick, E.L., Beers, J.R. & Heinbokel, J.F., 1977. Possible consequences of containing microplankton for physiological rate measurements. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 26, 5576.
Verity, P.G., 1985. Grazing, respiration, excretion, and growth rates of tintinnids. Limnology and Oceanography, 30, 12681282.
Verity, P.G., 1986. Growth rates of natural tintinnid populations in Narrangansett Bay. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 29, 117126.
Verity, P.G. & Stoecker, D., 1982. Effects of Olisthodiscus luteus on the growth and abundance of tintinnids. Marine Biology, 72, 7987.

Ciliate growth rates from Plymouth Sound: comparison of direct and indirect estimates

  • R.J.G. Leakey (a1) (a2), P.H. Burkill (a1) and M.A. Sleigh (a2)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed