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The distribution and habitat preference of ostracods (Crustacea: Ostracoda) in a coastal sand-dune lake, Loch of Strathbeg, north-east Scotland

The distribution and habitat preference of ostracods (Crustacea: Ostracoda) in a coastal sand-dune lake, Loch of Strathbeg, north-east Scotland

Freshwater Biology 222: 309-321

ISSN/ISBN: 0046-5070

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.1989.tb01104.x

1. Ostracods were a numerically abundant component of the benthos > 0.1 mm in size (up to 20% of the total) in the Loch of Strathbeg. 2. Distinct assemblages of species were associated with some habitats: Cypridopsis vidua (Muller) and Herpetocypris reptans (Baird) with Eleocharis palustris (L.) beds; Cypria ophtalmica (Jurine), Candona candida Muller and Cypria exsculpta (Fischer) with Phragmites communis Trin. beds; and Limnocythere inopinata (Baird) with open sand. In contrast, no distinct ostracod assemblage was associated with submerged beds of Chara aspera Detharding, or Myriophyllum spicatum (L.). 3. The number of ostracod species and ostracod diversity increased from open sand through macroalgal and submerged macrophytes to emergent macrophyte habitats and was associated with increasing number of types of detritus. 4. Laboratory experiments suggested that substratum particle size played a dominant role in determining the distribution of L. inopinata. This species preferred sandy sediments. The distributions of both H. reptans and C. vidua were affected by food supply and H. reptans also preferred fine-grained sediments. The absence of these taxa from some habitats where food supply and sediment particle size conditions were suitable suggested that unmeasured factors played a role. A possible predatory exclusion of H. reptans from such habitats was indicated by a negative association of this species with a predatory mite.

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