Vertical and seasonal dynamics of planktonic ciliates in a strongly stratified hypertrophic lake

  • Priit Zingel
Part of the Developments in Hydrobiology book series (DIHY, volume 182)


Seasonal population dynamics and the vertical distribution of planktonic ciliates in a hypertrophic and strongly stratified temperate lake were studied from April to October in 2000 and from April to June in 2001. In the epi- and metalimnion the ciliate abundance peaked in spring and late summer, reaching maximum values in the metalimnion (86 cells ml−1) on 7th August 2000. In the epilimnion, the highest biomass content (414 µg C l−1) was observed on 8th May 2000. In the hypolimnion only a late summer peak occurred and the ciliate numbers were always lower than in the epi- and metalimnion. Five groups dominated the community of ciliates: Oligotrichida, Gymnostomatea, Prostomatida, Hymenostomata and Peritrichia, and the community composition varied greatly with depth. In the epilimnion the ciliate numbers were dominated by oligotrichs but small algivorous prostomatids, peritrichs and gymnostomes were also numerous. In the metalimnion these groups were gradually replaced by scuticociliates and mixotrophic Coleps spp. In the hypolimnion scuticociliates and species known as benthic migrants dominated. In the epilimnion and upper metalimnion in spring large herbivores and in summer small bacterivores were more numerous.

Key words

ciliates protozooplankton vertical distribution seasonal dynamics 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Priit Zingel
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Limnology, Institute of Agricultural and Environmental SciencesEstonian Agricultural UniversityRannu, TartumaaEstonia
  2. 2.Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal SciencesEstonian Agricultural UniversityTartuEstonia

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