Zoological Studies

Vol. 60, 2021

(update: 2021.07.08; 10.08)

Ecological Role of Cyprideis torosa and Heterocypris salina (Crustacea, Ostracoda) in Saline Rivers of the Lake Elton Basin: Abundance, Biomass, Production, Fatty Acids

Vladimir A. Gusakov1,*, Olesia N. Makhutova2,3, Michail I. Gladyshev2,3, Larisa V. Golovatyuk4, and Tatiana D. Zinchenko4


1Papanin Institute for Biology of Inland Waters Russian Academy of Sciences, 109, Borok, Nekouzskii raion, Yaroslavl oblast, 152742, Russia. *Correspondence: Е-mail: gusakov@ibiw.ru (Gusakov)
2Institute of Biophysics of Federal Research Center “Krasnoyarsk Science Center” of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Akademgorodok, Krasnoyarsk, 660036, Russia. Е-mail: makhutova@ibp.krasn.ru (Makhutova); glad@ibp.ru (Gladyshev)
3Siberian Federal University, Svobodny av. 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041, Russia.
4Samara Federal Research Scientific Center RAS, Institute of Ecology of Volga River Basin RAS, Komzina str. 10, Togliatti 445003, Russia. E-mail: gollarisa@mail.ru (Golovatyuk); zinchenko.tdz@yandex.ru (Zinchenko)

Received 11 November 2020 / Accepted 10 June 2021
Communicated by Ryuji Machidas

Saline rivers are highly productive ecosystems in arid regions. The meiobenthic community (bottom meiofauna) and its dominant representatives are one of the least studied components of these aquatic ecosystems. Ostracods Cyprideis torosa and Heterocypris salina are major consumers among the species of bottom meiofauna in saline rivers flowing into the hyperhaline Lake Elton (Volgograd Region, Russia). We estimated the abundance,  biomass and production of C. torosa, the dominant species at the mouth of the polyhaline Chernavka River (average salinity is ~30 g l-1), and H. salina, the dominant species at the mouth of the mesohaline Bolshaya Samoroda River (~13 g l-1), in spring (May) and summer (August). Additionally, we studied the composition and content of fatty acids of the ostracods and their potential food sources (bottom sediments with bacterial-algal mats). We found that the abundance and biomass (wet weight with shells) of C. torosa in the Chernavka River and H. salina in the Bolshaya Samoroda River reached 3.5 106 ind. m-2 and 117 g m-2, and 1.1 105 ind. m-2 and 12 g m-2, respectively. The first species formed on average about 85% of the total abundance and 96% of the total biomass of the meiobenthos, and the second one, about 13% and 31%, respectively. The daily production of C. torosa and H. salina can reach 249 and 36 mg m-2 ash-free dry weight, respectively. The results indicate that these species may play an important role in the total flow of matter and energy in the studied habitats. Based on the fatty acid (FA) composition of the ostracods and their food sources, it was found that C. torosa mainly consumed diatoms, while H. salina preferred bacteria, cyanobacteria, and green algae. Differences between the species were greater than differences between the bottom sediments from the rivers. It may mean that the ostracods selectively consumed different food items that may be related to the different nutrient requirements of the species. Seasonal changes in the FA compositions of the ostracods were higher than in their food sources (bottom sediments), which also indicates selective feeding of the species.

Key words: Saline rivers, Ostracods, Diet, Fatty acid markers.

Citation: Gusakov VA, Makhutova ON, Gladyshev MI, Golovatyuk LV, Zinchenko TD. 2021. Ecological role of Cyprideis torosa and Heterocypris salina (Crustacea, Ostracoda) in saline rivers of the Lake Elton basin: abundance, biomass, production, fatty acids. Zool Stud 60:53. doi:10.6620/ZS.2021.60-53.

Supplementary Materials: Appendix 1