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Aquatic Microbial Ecology

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AME 21:97-102 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/ame021097

Fluctuating temperatures affect growth and production rates of planktonic ciliates

David J. S. Montagnes1,*, Thomas Weisse2

1Port Erin Marine Laboratory, University of Liverpool, School of Biological Sciences, Port Erin, Isle of Man IM9 6JA, British Isles
2Institute for Limnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Gaisberg 116, 5310 Mondsee, Austria

ABSTRACT: We measured the effect of fluctuating experimental temperatures on volume, growth rate, and production of 3 isolates of Urotricha furcata and 1 isolate of U. farcta. Laboratory experiments were conducted under constant (20°C) and daily fluctuating (12:12 h) temperatures (19:21, 17:23, 15:25°C). Experiments simulated temperature fluctuations that ciliates experience in natural environments. Fluctuating temperatures affected all parameters measured, suggesting that rate measurements at constant temperatures are not necessarily appropriate for modelling of processes in naturally fluctuating environments. Although there were significant effects of fluctuating temperature on parameter estimates, no universal trend was observed. Furthermore, effects under fluctuating conditions could not be predicted from mean estimates of measurements made over the temperature ranges. Finally, differences among isolates of U. furcata, from lakes 100s of km apart, were as large as differences between U. furcata and U. farcta; this suggests that various ecotypes exist among morphologically identical isolates.

KEY WORDS: Cell volume · Growth rate · Temperature response · Ecotypes

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