Characterization of the protistan communities inhabiting the benthic area of an inner estuary
Protist communities living in sandy sediments located at the inner end of an estuarine area were studied throughout 1 yr. Eight physico-chemical parameters were measured, as well as nutrients and bacterial biomass. A total of 173 protistan species were found encompassing ciliate, autotrophic flagellates, heterotrophic flagellates, autotrophic dinoflagellates, heterotrophic dinoflagellates and sarcodines. Total biomass values per sample ranged from 49.1 to 12,785.4 mg C m−3 and were dominated by ciliate biomass. Out of all the species isolated, a group of 33 were frequently found: 11 ciliates, 13 flagellates, 8 dinoflagellates and 1 sarcodine. Relationships between different biotic groups and between these groups and the physico-chemical factors were analyzed. This allowed a division of the annual cycle into four periods (March–May, June, July–October, November–February). Each period was characterized by certain protist species, physico-chemical conditions and events within the principal protist groups.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-05-01
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