Characterization of the protistan communities inhabiting the benthic area of an inner estuary
Abstract: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.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 2001
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