|Community Structure of Tintinnid Ciliates of the Microzooplankton in the South East Pacific Ocean: Comparison of a High Primary Productivity with a Typical Oligotrophic Site |
(Article) Publié: Journal Of Eukaryotic Microbiology, vol. 63 p.813–822 (2016)
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Transient ‘hot spots’ of phytoplankton productivity occur in the generally oligotrophic Southern Pacific Ocean and we hypothesized that the population structure of tintinnid ciliates, planktonic grazers, would differ from that of a typical oligotrophic sites. Samples were collected over a 1 week period at each of two sites between Fiji and Tahiti: one of elevated chlorophyll a concentrations and primary productivity with an abundance of N-fixing cyanobacteria Trichodesmium, and a distant oligotrophic site. Tintinnid abundance differed between the sites by a factor of 2. A single species (Favella sp.), absent from the oligotrophic site, highly dominated the ‘hot spot’ site. However, total species richness was identical (71 spp) as well as short-term temporal variability (2-4 days). At both sites species abundance distributions most closely fit a log-series or log-normal distribution and the abundance distributions of ecological types, forms of distinct lorica oral diameter, were the typical geometric. Morphological diversity was only slightly lower at the high productivity site. We found that communities of these plankton grazers in ‘hot spots’ of phytoplankton productivity in oligotrophic systems differ little from surrounding oligotrophic areas.