Colonization and succession of ciliated protozoa associated with submerged leaves in a river

Authors: Franco, C., Esteban, G.F. and Tellez, C.

Journal: Limnologica

Volume: 28

Pages: 275-283

ISSN: 1873-5851


The colonization and succession of ciliated protozoa on submerged substrates composed of different types of leaves was investigated over five weeks. The substrates were immersed at two sites in a stream, with different water flow rates (slow and fast). Ciliates were identified, and classified into functional feeding groups. Ciliate abundance and species richness were determined weekly. The results show that the structure of the ciliate community was similar in both water flows, although many species were observed one week earlier on substrates in slow-flowing water. All feeding groups coexisted in each substrate at each site. The species richness of the ciliate communities, together with the limited amount of work already published in this area, indicates that 20-35 ciliate species co-exist in most discrete freshwater habitats with dimensions of a few cm2 at any moment in time. The dynamics of colonization, immigration, and extinction rates of the ciliates in the submerged leaves was investigated. The results are consistent with the MAc ARTHUR-WILSON equilibrium model (1967).

Source: Manual

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