AME 21:299-307 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/ame021299

Ciliate community structure in two South Andean lakes: the effect of lake water on Ophrydium naumanni distribution

Beatriz E. Modenutti*, Esteban G. Balseiro, Claudia P. Queimaliños

Lab. Limnology, Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Unidad Postal Universidad, 8400, Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina

ABSTRACT: Planktonic ciliates were examined during a spring-summer period (November 1998 to April 1999) in 2 South Andean lakes in Argentina, with different dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nutrient concentrations. Lake Moreno Oeste is a deep warm monomictic lake (Zmax = 90 m), while Lake Morenito is shallower (Zmax = 12 m) and polymictic. Sampling was performed in a mid-lake station, where vertical profiles of temperature, light, and chlorophyll a concentration were measured in situ. In addition, DOC and phosphorus concentrations were determined, and samples for bacteria, phytoplankton and ciliate enumeration were taken along the water columns. Lake Morenito presented DOC and phosphorus concentrations 3-fold higher than those of Lake Moreno Oeste. Two different ciliate assemblages were present. Lake Moreno Oeste was dominated by the large mixotrophic ciliate Ophrydium naumanni, which was absent in Lake Morenito. In order to test O. naumanni water dependence, a series of laboratory experiments were performed during the sampling season. The experiments consisted of the incubation of the ciliate in filtered water from both lakes and the subsequent analysis of growth rates in each treatment. In addition, experiments with Moreno Oeste lake water with a 4-fold increased phosphorus concentration (addition of MBL culture medium) were conducted. The incubation of O. naumanni in Lake Morenito water led to highly negative growth rates of the ciliate. Results showed that the addition of nutrients did not cause significant differences in the growth rates.

KEY WORDS: Planktonic ciliates · Mixotrophy · Ultraoligotrophic lakes · Ophrydium naumanni · Mixotrophic ciliates

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