AME 64:51-67 (2011)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01509

Distribution and diversity of oligotrich and choreotrich ciliates across an environmental gradient in a large temperate estuary

Maiko Tamura1,4, Laura A. Katz1,2, George B. McManus3,*

1Department of Biological Sciences, Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts 01063, USA
2Program in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01003, USA
3Department of Marine Sciences, University of Connecticut, Groton, Connecticut 06340, USA
4Present address: Evolutionary Systems Biology Unit, Okinawa Institution of Science and Technology, 1919-1 Tancha, Onna-son, Kunigami, Okinawa 904-0412, Japan
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Using a combination of clone library and DGGE analyses, we assessed the diversity of coastal planktonic ciliates from the oligotrich and choreotrich clades across environmental gradients in Long Island Sound, USA. We sampled fresh and saline, as well as stratified and well-mixed, waters and found that these ciliate assemblages consist of a few common haplotypes and numerous rare haplotypes. Rarefaction estimates of total richness indicated that our survey did not cover the full diversity of the samples, suggesting that there may be many more haplotypes present in the Sound than predicted by previous microscopic surveys. We also found that haplotype richness varied on small spatial scales (<1 km) and that differences in community composition among samples are not readily attributable to commonly measured environmental factors. This result suggests that the ­driving forces behind these differences are more complex than the abiotic measures captured here. In common with other studies, we found that most of the haplotypes we observed had not been ­identified previously and posted on public genetic databases.


KEY WORDS: Oligotrichia · Choreotrichia · Coastal ciliate · Long Island Sound · Haplotype diversity · Microbial assemblage


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Cite this article as: Tamura M, Katz LA, McManus GB (2011) Distribution and diversity of oligotrich and choreotrich ciliates across an environmental gradient in a large temperate estuary. Aquat Microb Ecol 64:51-67. https://doi.org/10.3354/ame01509

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