The Contribution of Ciliated Protozoa to Zooplankton Biomass in an Acidic, Subtropical Lake

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Myxotrophy, plankton, Stentor niger.

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Ciliated protozoa accounted for up to 50% of the mean daily zooplankton biomass in McCloud Lake, a small (5 ha), oligotrophic, acidic (pH 4.7) lake in north‐central Florida. Food resources (algae and bacterioplankton) were limiting for crustacean and rotifer zooplankton during much of the year. Myxotrophic ciliates were a dominant component of the planktonic food web. Stentor niger, an uncommon species in the plankton of lakes, dominated the ciliate assemblage and usually comprised > 90% of total ciliate biomass. Stentor niger always contained high densities of photosynthetic zoochlorellae and contributed an estimated 30% to the total autotrophic biomass.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Journal of Protozoology, v. 38, issue 4, p. 352-354