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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 14:161-170 (1998)  -  doi:10.3354/ame014161

Seasonal abundance and vertical distribution of Protozoa (flagellates, ciliates) and bacteria in Lake Kinneret, Israel

Ora Hadas*, Tom Berman

Israel Oceanographic & Limnological Research, The Yigal Allon Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, PO Box 345, Tiberias 14102, Israel

The seasonal and vertical abundances of ciliates and flagellates are described over a 2 yr period in Lake Kinneret, Israel, a warm meso-eutrophic monomictic lake. Ciliate numbers ranged from 3 to 47 cells ml-1. At the thermocline and oxycline region, the highest ciliate numbers were observed in autumn, with Coleps hirtus as the dominant species. Maximum heterotrophic nanoflagellate abundance (1300 cells ml-1) was found in the epilimnion in winter-spring, minimum numbers (66 cells ml-1) occurred in autumn. Bacteria ranged from 105 to 3.107 cells ml-1 with highest numbers at the decline of the Peridinium gatunense bloom and the lowest during winter. Protozoa, especially ciliates, appeared to be important food sources for metazooplankton. Top-down control is an important factor determining the structure of the microbial loop in Lake Kinneret.

HNAN · Ciliates · Bacteria · Lake Kinneret

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