Vol. 53, 2014
Temporal structure of the peritrich ciliate assemblage in a large Neotropical lake
Lúcia SL Safi, Nelson F Fontoura, Henrique J Severo and Laura RP Utz*
de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia, Faculdade de Biociências, Pontifícia
Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Ipiranga 6681, Porto
Alegre, RS 90619-900, Brazil
communities are usually composed by prokaryotic and eukaryotic microbes
and small metazoans and could be found in any submerged surface in
aquatic environments. Ciliates generally are the dominant organisms in
periphytic communities where they can form assemblages of complex
taxonomic composition. Among these ciliate taxa, peritrichs are very
common organisms found in periphyton; also, they are easy to collect,
be easily recognized, and have been widely used to evaluate and monitor
ecological and ecotoxicological investigations. Several studies have
been focused on periphytic communities in freshwaters from the Northern
Hemisphere, with very little data on similar environments in the South.
In the present study, we analyzed the structure and temporal dynamics
of the ciliate peritrich community in a Neotropical shallow lake,comparing the fluctuation of the peritrich community with environmental factors.
Results: Peritrichia comprised a total of 22 morphospecies throughout the year with genera Epistylis and Vorticella
the most diverse and abundant genera. Peritrich density was
considerably higher during fall and winter, demonstrating a clear
seasonal cycle. Small, solitary species showed no pattern of dominance
during any particular stage of succession, reaching abundance peak any
time during the sampling period. On the other hand, large colonial
species were abundant only in the last half of each successional cycle.
Species abundance was correlated to temporal and environmental drivers.
results support the hypothesis of a temporal pattern of succession in
the community of peritrich ciliates that composes the periphyton of the
studied lake with different responses by individual species tosuccessional time, year, season, and environmental factors.
Key words: Periphyton; Biofilm; Community; Subtropical; Pollution.
*Correspondence: E-mail: email@example.com