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COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND SPATIOTEMPORAL VARIATION OF BENTHIC CILIATES IN THE YELLOW SEA
Author(s): 
Pages: 336-345
Year: Issue:  2
Journal: Oceanologia et Limnologia Sinica

Keyword:  benthic ciliatesYellow Seadistributioncommunity structure;
Abstract: Based on the investigation on benthic environmental factors, including temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, sediment grain size, organic matter, etc., we analyzed the community composition and distribution of benthic ciliates in the Yellow Sea surveyed in July and November 2010 using density gradient centrifugation in combination with quantitative protargol stain(the Ludox-QPS method). In July during the macroalgal Ulva prolifera bloom, the standing crops of ciliates were high in the northern Yellow Sea and in the inshore areas of the southern Yellow Sea and Changjiang(Yangtze) River estuary, and were low in the offshore area of the southern Yellow Sea. The abundance and biomass increased greatly in November, and high standing crops occurred in the inshore area of the southern Yellow Sea and decreased with increasing water depth towards the offshore area. The top three dominant groups in abundance and biomass were the same in the two months. The Prostomatea took the highest proportion in abundance, and so did the Karyorelictea in biomass; and the carnivorous ciliates were the most dominant feeding types in both months. The species number and Margalef and Shannon-Wiener index values of ciliates were higher in November than in July, and all these parameters were higher in the inshore than the offshore areas in the southern Yellow Sea in both months. Statistical analyses indicated that the ciliate abundance, biomass, species number, Margalef and Shannon-Wiener index values were all positively correlated with the bottom water temperature as well as the median grain size of sediments in November. The results indicate that the Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass(YSCWM) affected the community structure and distribution of ciliates as the result of co-working with multiple environmental factors. The Jaccard similarity coefficient between the two months was higher than that between the northern and the southern Yellow Sea as well as that between the YSCWM and its surrounding area, indicating the seasonal difference of the ciliate species composition was smaller than that between different p of the Yellow Sea. The high standing crops and diversity of ciliates in the inshore area of the southern Yellow Sea in July indicate that the green macroalgal bloom might promote the growth of benthic ciliates through the cascade effect.
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