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Are non-loricate ciliates a primary contributor to ecological pattern of planktonic ciliate communities? A case study in Jiaozhou Bay, northern China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2012

Yong Jiang
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Protozoology, Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
Wei Zhang
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Protozoology, Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
Mingzhuang Zhu
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Protozoology, Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
Khaled A. S. Al-Rasheid
Affiliation:
Zoology Department, King Saud University, PO Box 2455, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia
Henglong Xu*
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Protozoology, Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
*
Correspondence should be addressed to: H. Xu, Laboratory of Protozoology, Institute of Evolution and Marine Biodiversity, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China email: henglongxu@126.com

Abstract

The contribution of non-loricate ciliate assemblage to the ecological pattern of a ciliated protozoan community was studied based on a 1-year (June 2007–May 2008) dataset collected from Jiaozhou Bay, northern China. Samples were collected biweekly from five sampling sites. Results showed that: (1) the non-loricate ciliate assemblages were the primary components and significantly correlated with the total ciliate communities in terms of species number, abundance and biomass; (2) the ecological pattern of non-loricate ciliate assemblages was significantly related to that of both total ciliate communities and variations in environmental variables; and (3) spatio-temporal variations in biodiversity (richness, diversity and evenness of species) indices of non-loricate ciliate assemblages were significantly correlated with those of total ciliate communities and the environmental conditions, especially nutrients nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen and soluble reactive phosphorous. These results suggest that the non-loricate ciliates are a primary contributor to the ecological pattern of total ciliate communities and might be used as a potential bioindicator for bioassessment in marine ecosystems.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2012

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Are non-loricate ciliates a primary contributor to ecological pattern of planktonic ciliate communities? A case study in Jiaozhou Bay, northern China
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